Bell at the top with US team

Political unrest in Thailand did little to slow Watson Lake's Zach Bell as his cycling team took first place at the country's Princess Mahachakri Sirindhorn' Cup Tour.

Political unrest in Thailand did little to slow Watson Lake’s Zach Bell as his cycling team took first place at the country’s Princess Mahachakri Sirindhorn’ Cup Tour.

“We really did not encounter any of the protests,” said Bell in an e-mail to the News. “They were centralized in Bangkok and our race was in the north of the country.

There was really no impact on us whatsoever.”

Racing with the American team, Kelly Benefits Pro Cycling, Bell helped his team to the top by finishing second in the points competition.

“We won the whole race overall, which was where our team focused our energy,” said Bell.

“We essentially made the decision to give up the win in the points race to the other team, as trying to win both would have spread our small team too thin and may have meant we didn’t win either.

“The performance for this stage in my training cycle was good in most aspects of my riding.

I would say it was exceptional in a few aspects. I am where I want to be at this time of year.”

After some days off in Vancouver, Bell will head east for the Speed Week Criterium series along the US East Coast.

“This is the first domestic racing I will do this year and it will be a good test of whether my training has positioned me in a way that will lead to results the rest of the year,” he said.

Bell won a silver at the Track Cycling World Cup in Beijing, China, in January. Last month, Bell won another silver in a World Cup race in Poland.

After his silver in Poland, the News reported Bell’s knapsack, containing personal items and his medal, was stolen. As it turns out, a member of the Cuban team accidentally picked up his bag. It was given to the race organization, who then returned it to Bell.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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