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Zach Bell joins Champion System training camp

Track cycling Olympian's first steps toward a return to racing in 2013

Track cycling Olympian Zach Bell has taken the first steps toward a return to racing in 2013.

Bell and his wife Rebecca were devastated by the death of their son Paxton soon after he was born on Oct. 13, putting any decision about Bell’s future in cycling on hold.

With Bell’s team, SpiderTech powered by C10, suspending its racing program for 2013, there was no certainty he would be able to find a team even if he did choose to race.

But, as Bell wrote on his blog Sunday, a December trip to Watson Lake in the Yukon, where he grew up, help set him back on the path to competition. Things started to fall into place after that.

“As a young athlete in Watson Lake, an Olympian came to speak to me and set me on this path,” Bell wrote on zerailleur.com. “So this trip would truly bring it all full circle. Initially I thought this trip would be for the kids. It turned out helping me just as much as I hope it could help the kids.”

When he returned home to Vancouver, Bell resumed training and began talking with teams. He is now at a training camp in California with the Champion System pro continental team, which has also signed two other former SpiderTech riders, Ryan Roth and Ryan Anderson.

When contacted by phone Sunday, Bell emphasized that he has yet to sign a contract with the team or set a date for his return to competition. But he is motivated for the coming season and optimistic that he will have an employer.