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Gallery: Challenge Sprint Pro kicks off Canadian World Tour events

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Zach Bell celebrates after the sprint

Zach Bell celebrates after the sprint
(Image credit: Peter Kraiker/studiofstop.com)
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The sprint podium: Pelletier-Roy (2nd), Bell (1st) and Goss (3rd)

The sprint podium: Pelletier-Roy (2nd), Bell (1st) and Goss (3rd)
(Image credit: Peter Kraiker/studiofstop.com)
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Bell won a close sprint over Pelletier-Roy and Goss

Bell won a close sprint over Pelletier-Roy and Goss
(Image credit: Peter Kraiker/studiofstop.com)
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The final four included Canadians Bell and Rémi Pelletier-Roy

The final four included Canadians Bell and Rémi Pelletier-Roy
(Image credit: Peter Kraiker/studiofstop.com)
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Timothy Duggan (Liquigas-Cannondale) attacked early

Timothy Duggan (Liquigas-Cannondale) attacked early
(Image credit: Peter Kraiker/studiofstop.com)
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Spidertech's Zach Bell was watchful of the competition

Spidertech's Zach Bell was watchful of the competition
(Image credit: Peter Kraiker/studiofstop.com)
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Goss easily won his first heat

Goss easily won his first heat
(Image credit: Peter Kraiker/studiofstop.com)
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Final instructions from the commissaire

Final instructions from the commissaire
(Image credit: Peter Kraiker/studiofstop.com)
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Sandy Casar (FDJ-Big Mat) was all smiles at the start

Sandy Casar (FDJ-Big Mat) was all smiles at the start
(Image credit: Peter Kraiker/studiofstop.com)
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Salvatore Puccio (Sky Procycling) before the start of the Challenge Sprint Pro

Salvatore Puccio (Sky Procycling) before the start of the Challenge Sprint Pro
(Image credit: Peter Kraiker/studiofstop.com)
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Garmin-Sharp DS Eric Van Lancker won a previous edition of the Grand Prix des Amériques race in 1991

Garmin-Sharp DS Eric Van Lancker won a previous edition of the Grand Prix des Amériques race in 1991
(Image credit: Peter Kraiker/studiofstop.com)
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Matthew Goss (Orica GreenEdge) strategizing

Matthew Goss (Orica GreenEdge) strategizing
(Image credit: Peter Kraiker/studiofstop.com)
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David Veilleux (Europcar) was relaxed before the race

David Veilleux (Europcar) was relaxed before the race
(Image credit: Peter Kraiker/studiofstop.com)
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Winning legs; Bell still had good form from the Olympics

Winning legs; Bell still had good form from the Olympics
(Image credit: Peter Kraiker/studiofstop.com)

As a prelude to the upcoming round of World Tour races in Canada, Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec and Montréal, the Challenge Sprint Pro pitted riders against each other in a 1km long 4-man sprint competition. One rider was selected from each of the 24 teams competing in the two World Tour races.

At the end of the evening it was Zachary Bell (Spidertech) who won the four-man final ahead of Rémi Pelletier-Roy (Canadian National Team), Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) and Michael Matthews (Rabobank).

"You had to push it to whole [time] in front of a tough field. To come here in front of such a great crowd in such a fine setting is just brilliant," said London Olympian Bell.

"If Challenge Sprint Pro becomes a regular thing, for me it’s obviously a good race," he said.

Bell, riding for the Canadian-bred Spidertech team recently finished 7th in the omnium at the London Olympic Games. After being knocked out in the opening round of the Challenge Sprint Pro in last year’s event, a determined Bell blitzed through the heats by winning each of his rounds.

The 29-year-old was not originally included in his team’s line up but now finds himself ready for his first World Tour race of the year at the GP de Québec which begins tomorrow.