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Gallery: Wells and Park tune up legs in Arizona

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Todd Wells (Specialized) descending on his S-Works Epic

Todd Wells (Specialized) descending on his S-Works Epic (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Ryan Petry (Tri scottsdale/Trive Multisport) having a podium ride in his first pro race

Ryan Petry (Tri scottsdale/Trive Multisport) having a podium ride in his first pro race (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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The elite men head out on course through the tall grass

The elite men head out on course through the tall grass (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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The elite men's/ Cat. 1 field was quite large

The elite men's/ Cat. 1 field was quite large (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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A front row racer

A front row racer (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Todd Wells (Specialized) was getting in some early season racing.

Todd Wells (Specialized) was getting in some early season racing. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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TJ Woodruff (Momentum Endurance) raced in the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo last weekend

TJ Woodruff (Momentum Endurance) raced in the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo last weekend (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jeff Frost was on hand to keep the races running like clockwork

Jeff Frost was on hand to keep the races running like clockwork (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jaime Brede (Honey Stinger/Bontrager) leading Beth Utley on lap two

Jaime Brede (Honey Stinger/Bontrager) leading Beth Utley on lap two (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jaime Brede (Honey Stinger/Bontrager) leading Beth Utley throgh the tall grass

Jaime Brede (Honey Stinger/Bontrager) leading Beth Utley throgh the tall grass (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Lomax Boyd may have finished last in the marathon but he was clearly having the most fun

Lomax Boyd may have finished last in the marathon but he was clearly having the most fun (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jaime Brede (Honey Stinger/Bontrager)

Jaime Brede (Honey Stinger/Bontrager) (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Krista Park (Cannondale-NoTubes) is dwarfed by the men in the singlespeed class

Krista Park (Cannondale-NoTubes) is dwarfed by the men in the singlespeed class (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Todd Wells (Specialized) on the longest descent

Todd Wells (Specialized) on the longest descent (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Krista Park (Cannondale-NoTubes) getting aero where her singlespeed gearing was too low

Krista Park (Cannondale-NoTubes) getting aero where her singlespeed gearing was too low (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Krista Park (Cannondale-NoTubes) enjoying a fast, loose descent

Krista Park (Cannondale-NoTubes) enjoying a fast, loose descent (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Eric Lynch racing to third place in the Cat 1 Masters Men 45+

Eric Lynch racing to third place in the Cat 1 Masters Men 45+ (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Clayton Stone on a mountainous descent

Clayton Stone on a mountainous descent (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Santiago Chavez (Zia Velo) racing in sixth place

Santiago Chavez (Zia Velo) racing in sixth place (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Todd Wells (Specialized) riding in the foothills of the mountain range

Todd Wells (Specialized) riding in the foothills of the mountain range (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Krista Park (Cannondale-NoTubes) leading a group of men on lap two

Krista Park (Cannondale-NoTubes) leading a group of men on lap two (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Mike Wimbush (San Tan Racing) on his way to second place in the Cat. 1 Open field

Mike Wimbush (San Tan Racing) on his way to second place in the Cat. 1 Open field (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Scott Keller (Form Cycles) leading a group down a twisty trail

Scott Keller (Form Cycles) leading a group down a twisty trail (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Kata Skaggs (Adventure Bike) at the start

Kata Skaggs (Adventure Bike) at the start (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Beth Utley (Oro Valley Bicycles) on the front row at the start

Beth Utley (Oro Valley Bicycles) on the front row at the start (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Todd Wells and TJ Woodruff chasing an early leader

Todd Wells and TJ Woodruff chasing an early leader (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Elite men chat with Todd Wells at the starting line

Elite men chat with Todd Wells at the starting line (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Krista Park is racing with the singlespeed men on a bike with 26-inch rear, 27-in front

Krista Park is racing with the singlespeed men on a bike with 26-inch rear, 27-in front (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Liz Vito (Faster Performance Center) riding her last lap of the marathon

Liz Vito (Faster Performance Center) riding her last lap of the marathon (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Lee-Ann Beatty winning the Cat. 1 women's class

Lee-Ann Beatty winning the Cat. 1 women's class (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Katie Ellis (Landis/Trek) taking the win in the marathon

Katie Ellis (Landis/Trek) taking the win in the marathon (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Kata Skaggs (Adventure Bike) on her way to third place in the elite women's field

Kata Skaggs (Adventure Bike) on her way to third place in the elite women's field (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jaime Brede (Honey Stinger/Bontrager) descending on lap one

Jaime Brede (Honey Stinger/Bontrager) descending on lap one (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Beth Utley (Oro Valley Bicycles) taking the win in the elite women's class

Beth Utley (Oro Valley Bicycles) taking the win in the elite women's class (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Elite women front row of the start

Elite women front row of the start (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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After a half lap, Todd Wells (Specialized) had a 30-second lead

After a half lap, Todd Wells (Specialized) had a 30-second lead (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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TJ Woodruff (Momentum Endurance) chasing Todd Wells

TJ Woodruff (Momentum Endurance) chasing Todd Wells (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Hank the Brittany Spaniel watching his owner race

Hank the Brittany Spaniel watching his owner race (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Gerrit Mack (GlobalBikes) hitting a fast descent

Gerrit Mack (GlobalBikes) hitting a fast descent (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Sheldon Lindsey fighting his way uphill on his singlespeed

Sheldon Lindsey fighting his way uphill on his singlespeed (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Krista Park (Cannondale-NoTubes) was geared well for the climb but spun out on the flats

Krista Park (Cannondale-NoTubes) was geared well for the climb but spun out on the flats (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Ryan Petry (Tri scottsdale/Trive Multisport) winding his way up the mountain on his way to third place

Ryan Petry (Tri scottsdale/Trive Multisport) winding his way up the mountain on his way to third place (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Mimmo Futia (Swiss American Racing) struggling up a loose climb

Mimmo Futia (Swiss American Racing) struggling up a loose climb (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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TJ Woodruff (Momentum Endurance) carving singletrack

TJ Woodruff (Momentum Endurance) carving singletrack (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Ethan Millstein (True Composites) racing in the top five

Ethan Millstein (True Composites) racing in the top five (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Scott Keller (Form Cycles) descending in third place

Scott Keller (Form Cycles) descending in third place (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Zach Keller (Adventure Bike Company) rode nine laps to win the marathon by only two minutes.

Zach Keller (Adventure Bike Company) rode nine laps to win the marathon by only two minutes. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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An Arizona Giant Team was here in big numbers

An Arizona Giant Team was here in big numbers (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)

Todd Wells (Specialized), along with other well-known North American pros, headed down to Fort Hauchucha in Arizona yesterday to race in "The Foray at the Fort". As expected, Wells put on quite a show for the crowd by racing with the intensity he normally reserves for World Cups.

"I have to get used to suffering again and that was a great race and venue to do it at," he said after winning.

The race at Fort Hauchuca took place where the tall grassy plains met the snow-capped mountains at an elevation of 5,000 ft. Riders were challenged with steep climbs and descents along with changing course conditions. Early in the day, the ground was wet due to snow earlier in the week, but later the sun dried the course making some of the climbs more difficult on the small pea stones. The pro men raced five five-mile laps while the women raced four laps.

TJ Woodruff (Momentum Endurance) finished second, 9:21 behind Wells. He had raced in the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo last weekend and was obviously still recovering. First-time pro Ryan Petry finished in second place.

Petry said after the race, "I had the unique opportunity to race Todd Wells, a mountain bike national champion and 2012 Olympian. Not whom I was expecting to face in my first pro race, but it really pushed me to work hard to get on the podium!"

Krista Park (Cannondale-NoTubes) opted to race with the singlespeed men to get a better workout. "It's great to be a girl," said Park, "lots of categories to choose from for MBAA's race. Think I'll sleep in then race the open men's singlespeed class at noon. More laps than the girls' race, and it'll be warmer."

She finished fourth but found that her gearing was not ideal. "Five laps of ups and downs, I geared right for the steep rocky bits, but was way spun out in other sections. Singlespeed open raced at the same time as Cat. 1, I would get blown away by geared riders, then take half a lap to catch them back and pass just to do it again the next lap. Gears are faster (on this course) but singlespeed is more fun!"

Beth Utley (Oro Valey Bicycles) won the elite women's race in a time of 1:54:56. She was locked in a battle with Jaime Brede (Honey Stinger/Bontrager) for much of the race. Brede had to settle for second place. Kata Skaggs (Adventure Bike Company) finished third.

Many of the top mountain bikers in the country choose Tucson, Arizon for their winter training. Tucson enjoys 350 days of sunshine a year, has a vibrant racing community, and the MBAA (Mountain Biking Association of Arizona) offers early season racing in the Arizona State Championship Series. Trek Factory teammates Sam Schultz and Russell Finsterwald, Chloe Woodruff (Crank Brothers), and TJ Woodruff (Momentum Endurance) are among those who make Tucson their winter base.

Wells said, "I can drive to Tucson from Durango [where he lives] in eight hours. I went to college here, and it only usually rains one or two days in the two months I am here to train. The temperatures are usually in the 70s or 80s (degrees Fahrenheit), and there are a lot of places to ride." A couple years ago, Wells invested in a Tucson home to use for his off-season training.

Arizona racers will get to race another round, number four, of the MBAA series in Estrella on March 9.

Check out the gallery here.