Wells dominates US short track championships

Todd Wells (Specialized) rode like a man on a mission in the elite men's short track US championship race on Sunday afternoon in Sun Valley, Idaho. After his flat tire yesterday cost him a chance to defend his 2011 cross country title, Wells set a blistering pace from the start and never looked back until he won the race.

"I was disappointed yesterday after the flat tire. [Sam] Schultz and I had been going back and forth and to not have a chance to race for it at the end sucked," said Wells. "I knew I had good form after last weekend and yesterday, and warming up today I felt like I had good legs."

It was Wells' third short track national title.

"This short track does not have much passing and is very dusty, so just going out front is a good tactic," said Wells. "Last year, I also had good form and led the whole race until the finish, and I wasn't going to do that this year. Once I saw I had a gap, I gave it everything to hold it."

As Wells was establishing his gap, one of the race favorites Ryan Trebon (Cannondale) dropped his chain. Others had to come around him as they tried to chase Wells. Trebon, who lost many places, saw his chances of a podium evaporate.

"I'm a little bummed. My wheel washed out in a turn, and I dabbed and it caused me to backpedal a little and the chain fell off," said Trebon. "I was trying to put it back on and everybody went by me. My chain was wrapped around the crank arm, and I had to untwist it and put it back on. We were out there already and warmed up, so I figured I'd just keep going anyway."

Behind Trebon, Adam Craig (Rabobank), Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Trek) and Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) emerged as the major contenders to fight for second place. Several other riders hung on for a bit, but they could not handle the pace through the final laps.

"I pulled the whole second-to-last lap," said Horgan-Kobelski. "For me, there is no difference between second and fourth, and so I went all out just in case something happened to Todd. I never sat in. I went into the last lap pretty gassed.

Craig said, "Once Todd had that gap - this was a good course to ride away with a gap - you can ride steady by yourself. It was great riding with Jeremy, but we couldn't catch Todd."

JHK added, "That was hard. They [short tracks] are never easy. When Trebon dropped his chain and it splintered the front group, it was every man for himself after that. Todd was obviously the strongest guy today. We weren't closing on him and we were working hard. Adam and I took hard pulls and were chasing as hard as we could."

Bishop made a solo mid-race bid to bridge up to Wells, but waited too long and decided to sit up and wait for the Craig and JHK. As the others in the chase group dropped off, the trio of Bishop, Craig and Horgan-Kobelski were setting up for a three-up contest.

"I regret not chasing Wells sooner," said Bishop. "I waited one lap too long. The problem was the gap was too big at that point. When you're riding by yourself in no man's land, it's hard to gauge the effort. I looked back and saw Adam and Jeremy were working together to chase me, so I knew I had to sit up and wait for them in order to get them."

Horgan-Kobelski led most of the penultimate lap as he tried to help set up for Craig. Craig attacked a little sooner than Bishop was expecting - on the climb with about half a lap to go. Then Bishop counter-attacked Craig and held him off to take second place.

"I thought I was feeling decent," said Craig. "It would have been nice to punch Jeremiah's ticket for second place, but that's the way it goes. I was riding a dually so my card was on the rough pedalling section in the back. Jeremy set me up because we have a mutual desire to not get beat by Jeremiah, but then he did. Jeremiah stuck on my wheel when I made my move and he came around me with two straights to go. I could have chopped him, but I didn't."

Bishop said, "I did what I needed to do. Once they caught me, I knew I needed to sit on and vie for second. I knew I had to play a late card and I did. Adam jumped first, and I thought he had the same idea as me. I followed him until the last straight away and uncorked a big attack. I had some in reserve, but I wish I had gone sooner. I know where I should have been, and I should have been covering the move [by Wells] right away. It was a good race - you can't do it perfect every time."

Craig finished up in third ahead of JHK in fourth.

First-year elite rider Stephen Ettinger (BMC) put in a solid ride to finish in fifth for the final spot on the podium.

Full Results

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Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Todd Wells (Specialized Racing)0:29:46
2Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale Factory Racing)0:00:16
3Adam Craig (Rabobank/Giant Offroad Team)0:00:21
4Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru/Trek)0:00:27
5Stephen Ettinger (Wenatchee Valley Velo)0:00:34
6Jonathan Page0:00:37
7Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek)0:00:38
8Mitchell Hoke (Team Clif Bar)0:00:47
9Russell Finsterwald (Front Rangers Junior Cycling)0:00:59
10Spencer Paxson (Kona Bicycles)0:01:02
11Troy WellsRow 10 - Cell 2
12Howard Grotts (Fort Lewis College)0:01:10
13Macky Franklin (Orbea-Tuff Shed)0:01:16
14Skyler Trujillo (Niner Stans Ergon)0:01:23
15Cody Kaiser (California Giant Berry Farms)0:01:37
16Zachary Valdez (Whole Athlete-Specialized)0:01:41
17Carl Decker (Giant Factory)0:01:46
18Ryan Trebon0:01:50
19Michael Broderick (Kenda-Seven-NoTubes)0:01:51
20Colton Andersen (Durango Devo)0:01:52
21Colin Cares (Kenda/Felt)Row 20 - Cell 2
22Alexander Grant (Cannondale Factory Racing)0:02:03
23Robert Marion (American Classic Pro Team)0:02:10
24Kevin Bradford-Parish0:02:16
25Tad Elliott (Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory)0:02:20
26Braden Kappius (Team Clif Bar)0:02:30
27Samuel Morrison (The Gear Movement/Epic Pro)0:02:33
28Corey Stelljes0:02:39
29Cole Oberman (Guys Racing Club)0:02:44
30Seamus Powell0:02:51
31Kerry Werner (USA u23 BMC development team)0:03:33
-3lapsTyler Gauthier (Culvers Racing p/b Meyer Family)Row 31 - Cell 2
-3lapsTravis Glysson (AZ Devo)Row 32 - Cell 2
-3lapsGreg Krieger (Eriksen Cycles)Row 33 - Cell 2
-3lapsPayson Mcelveen (USA U23)Row 34 - Cell 2
-4lapsDavis Bentley (Above Category Racing)Row 35 - Cell 2
-4lapsMason BondRow 36 - Cell 2
-4lapsDrew Edsall (Kenda / Felt)Row 37 - Cell 2
-4lapsLewis Gaffney (Team F.I.Taos)Row 38 - Cell 2
-4lapsDavid Harrison (Wild Rockies Racing Team)Row 39 - Cell 2
-4lapsTanner Hurst (Carpe Diem Racing)Row 40 - Cell 2
-4lapsPeter Ostroski (Wild Things/Rocky Mountain)Row 41 - Cell 2
-4lapsRich Weis (Trek/Subaru)Row 42 - Cell 2
-4lapsTravis Woodruff (Trek Bicycle Store Boulder)Row 43 - Cell 2
-4lapsBrent Gorman (Volkswagen Boise)Row 44 - Cell 2
-5lapsDarren Lightfield (Wild Rockies Inc)Row 45 - Cell 2
-5lapsJorge Munoz (Dominion - Falcon Bank)Row 46 - Cell 2
-5lapsAlex WildRow 47 - Cell 2
DNSThomas Sampson (Team Alpine Clinic RCN)Row 48 - Cell 2
DNSAndy SchultzRow 49 - Cell 2
DNSMatthew Freeman (Team Redlands)Row 50 - Cell 2
DNSColin Osborn (Honey Stinger)Row 51 - Cell 2
DNFBryan Fawley (Obrea USA)Row 52 - Cell 2


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