Road racing cyclist Darren Bell has made rapid progress in the sport since moving from duathlon two years ago. He is one of the competitors aiming win selection for Team Isle of Man's Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games squad. In pursuit of that goal Darren is benefiting from the Glasgow 2014 Support Programme, funded by the Isle of Man Commonwealth Games Association, which provides competitors with expert advice and support from the Isle of Man Sport Institute.
Name: Darren Bell
Occupation: Outreach Worker at The Children's Centre
Club: Ellan Vannin CC/Appleby
Darren's passion for cycling became obvious once he had completed his goals as a duathlete, winning local titles and also qualifying for the age group World Championships at the age of 20. He has been concentrating on cycling for two seasons and is currently the Isle of Man Road Race Champion. Among many notable achievements is a hat-trick of wins in the prestigious Colin Nelson Mountain Time Trial from 2010 to 2012. Darren says: "My first year of racing was to gain experience in both on-Island and off-Island events, I had a number of time-trial victories in my first year and plenty of good results in road racing, and managed to record my first win in my second season of racing."
His record in road racing also includes 6th on general classification in the Tour of Ulster finishing 3rd on one stage; 6th place on general classification at Ireland's Suir Valley 3 Day finishing 3rd and 4th in stages; plus victories in the following Isle of Man events - John Hamer Road Race, Tour of Middle Road Race, Teare Trophy and Rob Rohrer Time-Trial. So far he has achieved five Team Isle of Man Commonwealth Games selection consideration times and standards.
Target events for Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth
Road time-trial and possibly the road race.
How does being on the Glasgow 2014 Support Programme
Darren says: "The Support Programme has enabled me to get the very best advice on strength training which helps to prevent injuries and, therefore, I'm able to train and race more consistently. Advice on sports nutrition has been a great help too."
What do the Commonwealth Games mean to
"If I'm selected for Team Isle of Man for Glasgow 2014 it will be my debut at the Commonwealth Games. I would be very proud to represent the Island and be part of the cycling team. The Isle of Man has produced so many world class riders over the years that I would consider it a great achievement just to be selected for the cycling team with the likes of Mark Cavendish."