The USA Cycling National Marathon Championships at Wildwood Park dodged a bullet, as expected thunderstorms did not develop, but the riders had to deal with temperatures as high as 94 (F), with humidity nearly as high. Hydration quickly became a bigger challenge for the riders than the distance.
Todd Wells (SRAM-Troy Lee Designs) defeated Jeremiah Bishop (Topeak Ergon-Canyon) by just 1:23 to repeat as champion, while Ryan Woodall (Top Gear) from Ocala, Florida, finished third less than three minutes behind Wells.
The Columbia County course consisted of two 30-mile loops. The first half was flatter and less technical than the second half. Fortunately for the racers, over half the course benefited from the shade of oak and pine forests.
Todd Wells talked about the race, “I knew from last year that nothing happens on that first loop. Last year JB (Bishop) and I attacked so many time and we still rolled through (at the end of the lap) with a group of ten to twenty….same this year.”
By the fourth water stop at the 40-mile mark, the entire race had blown apart and nearly everyone was riding alone. Wells had opened a 90-second lead over Tristen Cowie who later faded a bit.
Wells explained, “I knew that after the first lap it was a good time to go. Guys are a little tired and you can make a bit of a difference there. So I pushed it on the singletrack, and ended up getting a gap on the road, and then kept it going to the finish.”
Wells added, “Last year I started to cramp at the end and it was fifteen degrees cooler, so the whole time I was worried about cramping….but no cramps out there. When you have the lead you can ride your own pace and not have to worry about doing accelerations.”
Jeremiah Bishop came into the race with lowered expectation due to being quite sick for two weeks.
He talked about losing contact with Wells, “I could have used some sugar when Wells attacked…it was basically like a short track attack surge. My head was throbbing from the heat and I’m like surprised I was even there in 3rd…Then I said, “I just need to punch it and try to catch these guys”, and the legs began to come around.”
Wells will head to the new Carson City Off-Road Race, the third race in the Epic Rides Series. He leads the series and will be competing for a $10,00 overall check, plus $5,000 if he takes the win that day.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Todd Wells (USA) SRAM-Troy Lee Designs Racing Team||4:08:52|
|2||Jeremiah Bishop (USA) TEAM TOPEAK ERGON||0:01:23|
|3||Ryan Woodall (USA)||0:04:08|
|4||Tristan Cowie (USA)||0:11:07|
|5||Alex Wild (USA)||0:15:03|
|6||Troy Wells (USA) TEAM CLIF BAR Cycling||0:17:25|
|7||Payson Mcelveen (USA) USA U23||0:19:00|
|8||Aaron Oakes (USA)||0:21:04|
|9||Charles Snyder (USA) Cannondale Champion System||0:22:29|
|10||Scott Hoffner (USA)||0:24:35|
|11||David Flaten (USA) US Military Endurance Sports||0:30:09|
|12||Cole Oberman (USA) Ridebiker Alliance||0:32:18|
|13||Jorden Wakeley (USA)||0:32:44|
|14||Elliott Baring (USA)|
|15||Alex Vanias (USA) OAM NOW / Athletic Mentors||0:33:34|
|16||Bryan Dillon (USA) Topeak-Ergon||1:00:44|
|17||Charles Daniel (USA) Raising Cane's Racing||1:09:46|
|18||Joseph Williams (USA) Giant Co-Factory Off-Road Team||1:24:06|
|DNF||Keck Baker (USA) Blue Ridge Cyclery Racing p/b Reynolds G|
|DNF||Kyle Ellis (USA) Cycle Youth|