Wells aims for third US marathon national title in a row

Defending champ Mata absent from women's race

Eighteen Stars-and-Stripes jerseys will be awarded in Sun Valley, Idaho, this weekend as the 2014 USA Cycling Marathon National Championships bring an end to the Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival on Saturday, July 5.

In the pro men's event, the field will be stacked with talent as Todd Wells (Specialized Factory Racing), who is fresh off winning the final round of the US Cup in Colorado Springs, attempts to defend his victory from last year's edition. Should he be successful, it will be three marathon mountain bike national titles in a row for the Colorado rider.

However, Wells will be up against some of the same threats he faced last year, including Stephen Ettinger (BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team), Alexander Grant (Sho-Air-Cannondale), and Carl Decker.

The women's pro race will be wide open as Monique "Pua" Mata (Sho-air-Cannondale), winner of the last three national titles in this category, will be noticeably absent from the start line as she is recovering from surgery.

Women to be on the lookout for include Serena Gordon and Jana Repulski (Broken Spoke Cycling-Broken Spoke Cycling).

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