To say that Todd Wells has been killing it this year would be an understatement. So when he took the National Championship jerseys for both cross country and short track this past weekend in Granby, Colorado, we were super-stoked...but not all that surprised. Here is Todd's report from the weekend.
This is definitely one of the best race reports I have ever written. I have always had bad luck at the National Championship races for some reason, but this weekend was just about perfect. I managed to win the cross-country title for the first time and the short track title in the same weekend on the brand new Specialized S-Works Epic 29er. My wife, parents, parents-in-law, and dog Winston were all there to share it with, too. It was just awesome. Saturday was the XC and the second year in a row Nationals was contested at nine thousand feet in Colorado. It was a hot day with temperatures in the eighties, minimal shade and rough, dusty trails. This year I had a good block of almost five weeks to prepare at home, and I knew I needed to train higher than even the sixty five hundred feet of Durango if I wanted to be competitive. I spent two of the three weeks prior to the event driving up to nine thousand feet to sleep in a friend's condo at Durango Mountain Resort ski area to acclimate to the altitude and then spent the last week in Vail. I don't get much time at home during the summer, so it was a sacrifice to spend the little time I had there not sleeping in my own bed. But, it paid off this weekend.
Ryan Trebon led out the first lap, and by the top of the climb we were a group of three with me, JHK, and Trebon. I went to the front on the downhill and JHK and I opened a gap. I rode with JHK for the first lap and a half of the five and half lap race before leaving him for good. I knew I was on a good day right away and just wanted to make sure I didn't give too much early on. But once I got the gap it just kept growing. The new Epic 29er was perfect for the course and I increased my lead through every rough pedaling section. By the end I had over a minute gap and could enjoy cruising in for my first ever XC National Championship. Sunday was the short track, and I was already satisfied with my weekend having taken the XC jersey. But, when I lined up, the adrenaline kicked in and I wanted another jersey. This time I got away very early in the race and just kept opening up the gap. I spent most of the race on my own and again the new bike was gobbling up the bumpy course. I built up enough of a lead to take it easy on the last lap and grab my second jersey of the weekend. It was really satisfying to set a goal, train specifically for it and achieve what I set out to do. I have been trying to win the cross-country jersey for so long that I thought it was never going to happen. I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later...I'm just glad it was sooner. I don't have much time to celebrate, though, as I leave for Europe tomorrow for the next round of the World Cup in ChampÃ©ry, Switzerland. Thanks for your support. Nice job, Todd! Two jerseys in one weekend is a spectacular feat. We wish you the best of luck for Europe!
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