Zach Bell delivered Champion System its first win of 2013 season Thursday, out-sprinting six breakaway riders to the line for a Stage 4 victory at the Tour de Taiwan.
Teammate Chun Kai Feng escaped off the start; 16 riders later followed, including Bell. Bell and six others attacked with 50 km remaining in the 115-km race, building up a lead of nearly 2:30 minutes.
With 10 km to go, five chasers bridged to the lead group, which had only 31 seconds on the chasing peloton with 3 km to go. The group was whittled down to seven in the final kilometer, and a fast and furious bunch sprint ensued. A two-time runner-up at the UCI World Track Championships in Omnium, Bell's brutally powerful sprint aboard his SST
was dominant and decisive. Watch the video
"It's good to be back on top. It's been a while since I last delivered a result on the road, I'm glad it happens here. It's such a big deal for Champion System to win in Taiwan. I'm very happy," said Bell of his first victory since capturing Stage 7 of the Vuelta a El Salvador in May of 2007.
The Canadian track cyclist was a late signee to the Champion System squad and said that his win is further proof that he made the right decision switching full time to the road.
"I felt that the Tour of Taiwan would be a perfect way for me to start the 2013 season and begin a renewed commitment to road cycling," said Bell. "I know we have a really solid team here, and I'm very happy to be able to deliver the Champion System team our first win of the season."
With three more stages to go, Champion System will continue focusing on stage wins, said General Manager Ed Beamon.
Bell told Cycling News that there's more to come. "We have a lot of cards to play. We're not going to sit down and enjoy the rest of the race. Chun Kai Feng is a quiet guy, but you'll see a lot more from him in the future. Adiq Othman is still up there on GC. We're gonna look to make more of an impact on the race."
Othman, who finished just off the podium at 4th in Stage 3, remains Champion System's best-placed rider in 11th overall, 53 seconds back. Taiwan native Chun Kai Feng, winner of last year's king of the mountains competition, is still fighting for mountain points and remains four points behind leader Chen Lu Qin.