Todd Wells' 2012 season did not start the way he had hoped. The US cross country national champion crashed in training on the Pietermaritzburg World Cup course just a few days before the race. Forced to sit out the opening World Cup, Wells had hoped to be back in action for the Cape Epic mountain bike stage race starting this weekend, but his foot injury is more severe than he initially realized.
He explained on his blog what happened in the crash. "My first lap of the World Cup course I took a pretty big tumble halfway through from the top of the log steps. I ejected at the top, landed on my head and back and doinked my ankle on the ground and pedal. Now I probably dropped a good 10 feet, so when I could move all my fingers and toes I was pretty stoked. My most immediate concern was my back but after about 20 minutes, I was able to breath OK and started to notice my sore ankle."
Fortunately, further examination revealed that there were no broken bones, but Wells had to watch the World Cup instead of racing it. "That was pretty hard to take and it was the first time I've watched a complete race from the sidelines."
After resuming some training in the days after the World Cup, the pain began to increase again in his foot. "The team took me for a MRI/CT Scan yesterday and it was determined to just be a bad bone bruise on my heel. I am sentenced to crutches for six weeks but can start riding as soon as the pain is gone since cycling doesn't stress the bruised bone, just walking."
That means no Cape Epic, which the Team Specialized rider had planned to ride with Max Knox.
Wells will travel back to the US to recuperate. "The hardest part about the whole thing was that I thought I was getting better and now I'm worse off then when I started. I have been keeping a positive outlook though and everyone has been very supportive."
He is hoping to be back in action in time for the second World Cup in Houffalize, Belgium in mid-April, when he will resume his quest to make the US Olympic Mountain Bike Team.