Saint-Georges, Quebec, Canada - Zach Bell of the Champion System Pro Cycling Team captured his first Canadian national road title Saturday by out-sprinting six other survivors from an original 12-man breakaway that escaped early in the 180-kilometer race.<p style="display:none;"></p><a href="http://www.timepiecesale.co.uk/">hot sale panerai replica watches</a></p>
Bell said he knew if the race came down to a sprint, chances were good he would earn his third victory of the season and the biggest of his seven-year professional career.
"That's the way it's been for me this year," he said. "If I can just get my speed rolling and get the power opened wide, it's tough to come around me in the wind. When I crossed the line, I couldn't believe it. I had to ask myself if this was really happening. I was in a group of guys that were all hungry to win, so this is a pretty big thrill."
Ryan Anderson (Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies) finished second and Antoine Duchesne (Bontrager Cycling Team) was third.
Bell and Ryan Roth - the race's defending champion - were the only two Champion System riders in the race. But early mechanical problems prevented Roth from finishing.
Christian Meier, the 2008 national road champion, launched what appeared to be the race-winning attack in the last 25 kilometers. But Bell and the other five escapees remaining from the original breakaway worked hard to bring him back in the final 10 kilometers.
"He (Meier) was one of the strongest guys here for sure," Bell said. "We had to put in a full-on effort to bring him back and I did quite a bit of work because I knew it was in my best interest to bring it back together."
Bell's victory follows his win in Stage 6 of the Tour de Korea earlier this month and on Stage 4 of the Tour de Taiwan in March. The two-time Olympian had come close to winning a national title before, finishing third in the road race in 2011, second in the time trial in 2010 and third in the time trial in 2007, 2008 and 2009. He was fourth in this year's time trial on Thursday.
"I am so very proud of Zach," Champion System General Manager Ed Beamon said. "His unselfish commitment to the team all year has been an inspiration to his teammates and he deserves this victory more than anyone I can imagine."