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Wells earns short track national championship title

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Todd Wells (Specialized) wins the US short track national championships

Todd Wells (Specialized) wins the US short track national championships
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Russell Finsterwald (Trek Factory Team) having a brilliant outing

Russell Finsterwald (Trek Factory Team) having a brilliant outing
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Spencer Paxson (Kona) on the front row with an ice pack

Spencer Paxson (Kona) on the front row with an ice pack
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Todd and Meg Wells at the start

Todd and Meg Wells at the start
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Carl Decker (Team Giant) riding a rock garden

Carl Decker (Team Giant) riding a rock garden
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Casey Williams (Whole Athlete/Specialized) showing some good form at a drop-off

Casey Williams (Whole Athlete/Specialized) showing some good form at a drop-off
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Todd Wells (Specialized) hammering up a climb with the race lead

Todd Wells (Specialized) hammering up a climb with the race lead
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) turning himself inside out to catch Todd Wells

Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) turning himself inside out to catch Todd Wells
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Todd Wells (Specialized) cooling off after the race

Todd Wells (Specialized) cooling off after the race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Men's US Short Track Nationals Podium (L to R): Russell Finsterwald (Trek) 4th, Stephen Ettinger (BMC) 2nd, Todd Wells (Specialized) 1st, Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air Cannondale) 3rd, Spencer Paxson (Kona) 5th

Men's US Short Track Nationals Podium (L to R): Russell Finsterwald (Trek) 4th, Stephen Ettinger (BMC) 2nd, Todd Wells (Specialized) 1st, Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air Cannondale) 3rd, Spencer Paxson (Kona) 5th
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Spencer Paxson (Kona) takes the hole shot

Spencer Paxson (Kona) takes the hole shot
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) along with other chasers on lap one

Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) along with other chasers on lap one
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) had quite a battle going with Russell Finsterwald

Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) had quite a battle going with Russell Finsterwald
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Parts of the track were very busy with descents and climbs on the same part of the ski slope

Parts of the track were very busy with descents and climbs on the same part of the ski slope
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Todd Wells (Specialized) taking the lead from Spencer Paxson

Todd Wells (Specialized) taking the lead from Spencer Paxson
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Spencer Paxson (Kona) attempting to follow Wells' attack

Spencer Paxson (Kona) attempting to follow Wells' attack
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Alex Grant (Sho-Air/Cannondale) descending through a rock garden

Alex Grant (Sho-Air/Cannondale) descending through a rock garden
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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U23 Cross Country National Champion Kerry Werner (BMC)

U23 Cross Country National Champion Kerry Werner (BMC)
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Justine Lindine (Redline) riding in the chase group

Justine Lindine (Redline) riding in the chase group
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Michael Broderick (Kenda-NoTubes) riding in the top 10 places

Michael Broderick (Kenda-NoTubes) riding in the top 10 places
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Mitch Hoke (Kenda/Felt) leading a group through the rock garden

Mitch Hoke (Kenda/Felt) leading a group through the rock garden
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Todd Wells (Specialized) off the front of the race

Todd Wells (Specialized) off the front of the race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Stephen Ettinger (BMC Development Team) attempting to bridge the gap to Todd Wells

Stephen Ettinger (BMC Development Team) attempting to bridge the gap to Todd Wells
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Kerry Werner (BMC Development Team)

Kerry Werner (BMC Development Team)
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Stephen Ettinger (BMC Development Team) cornering hard on his last lap

Stephen Ettinger (BMC Development Team) cornering hard on his last lap
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Todd Wells (Specialized) with a half lap to go before claiming the national championship title.

Todd Wells (Specialized) with a half lap to go before claiming the national championship title.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Todd Wells (Specialized) in a rocky singletrack section during the short track at US nationals.

Todd Wells (Specialized) in a rocky singletrack section during the short track at US nationals.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)

The Todd Wells (Specialized) and Stephen Ettinger (BMC Development) battle of the weekend continued with a second round at the short track at the US Cross Country Mountain Bike National Championships on Sunday afternoon at Bear Creek Resort in Macungie, Pennsylvania. Reversing the results of yesterday, Wells beat Ettinger for the gold medal. Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) finished with his second bronze medal of the weekend.

"Today was all about who wanted it more," said Wells, who successfully defended his short track national title from 2012. "I was disappointed with yesterday. I gave everything I could, but it just wasn't enough. I had some good motivation for today's race."

"I know that I usually recover pretty well, even for an old guy. You'd think these young guys would just be coming out ready to go, but for whatever reason, maybe it's all those years of riding, I seem to recover as good or better than most of the guys."

Spencer Paxson (Kona) took the hole shot and blazed to the front on the first lap. Wells, Ettinger, Russell Finsterwald (Trek) and Bishop did their duty marking him.

Then Wells went to the front and spent most of the rest of the race burning out the legs of his fellow competitors.

"It was my strategy to apply pressure today," said Wells. "I could see that I was maybe taking some gaps on the others. In a few of those corners, I felt like I was going pretty good, and I figured if I could take the lead through them, the guys would have to close the gap a few times and eventually they might get tired."

"Ettinger caught me after two laps in, and I couldn't tell how I was getting a gap, but it was about pushing myself and redeeming myself after yesterday."

Ettinger's body language showed how crushed he was from his winning effort in yesterday's cross country race. Afterward he admitted as much.

"I suffered so bad. There was not much left in the tank after yesterday," said Ettinger. "Last weekend, Todd and I had a really good race in Wisconsin, and I was able to go with half a lap to go and attack Todd. He barely caught back to me last weekend, so I knew I had a good opportunity this weekend. However, after yesterday, which was a really emotional day in the best possible way, it was harder to come out here today and race hard."

Wells' efforts cost first Paxson, then Finsterwald and finally Bishop to pop off the back of the lead group. That left Ettinger and Wells, and finally Ettinger couldn't take it any longer. A gap formed between and started to grow.

Wells was cruising at the front, looking smooth and fast on the downhills and corners and powerfully punchy on the two climbs per lap.

"There were a few berms on the course. Some of the guys weren't using the berms, but I felt like I could use them and carry more momentum into the turns," said Wells. "With the berms, I didn't need brakes. I'm a bigger guy than some of these guys, so I tend to pick up speed on the downhills, and I also carry that momentum better into the climbs, so if I can go around the corners a little faster, and I can make it a little further up the hill before being a bigger guy becomes a disadvantage."

Wells rode in solo, with plenty of time to enjoy his victory. Ettinger rode in for second place.

"Hanging in for second was about all I was able to do. I could not put it out like I could yesterday," said Ettinger.

Finsterwald caught Bishop and the two rode together for a few laps, but Bishop re-applied the pressure and got away from Finsterwald for third place.

"Finsterwald put in a good attack. It's not my best weekend, but a bronze medal - I'll take it," said Bishop. "Wells put in a good race. After yesterday, I think he really wanted to prove something. I thought for me it would be a repeat of yesterday. I knew it would be a hard mental race and the heat would be tough. In this kind of course, being out front by yourself is good. The corners are loose and there's not really a lot of drafting to be done.

Finsterwald rolled in fourth ahead of Paxson in fifth in what was the final race of the US Mountain Bike National Championship weekend.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Todd Wells (Specialized Factory Racing)0:26:27
2Stephen Ettinger (BMC Mountainbike Racing Team)0:00:27
3Jeremiah Bishop (Team Sho-Air Cannondale)0:00:47
4Russell Finsterwald (Trek Factory Racing)0:01:00
5Spencer Paxson (Kona Factory Team)0:01:07
6Kerry Werner (BMC U23 Development MTB Team)0:01:16
7Alexander Grant (Sho-Air/Cannondale)0:01:18
8Justin Lindine (Redline)
9Tristan Uhl (ATC Racing)0:01:21
10Carl Decker0:01:37
11Ryan Woodall0:01:52
12Casey Williams (Whole Athlete)0:02:06
13Troy Wells (Team Clif Bar Cycling)0:03:15
-3lapsPayson Mcelveen (Usa U23)
-3lapsCameron Dodge
-3lapsMichael Broderick (Kenda/Stan's Notubes)
-4lapsJacob Albrecht (Whole Athlete / Specialized)
-4lapsEric Thompson
-4lapsColin Cares (Kenda/Felt)
-4lapsCole Oberman (Breakaway Racing-Pa)
-4lapsLewis Gaffney (Team F.I.Taos)
-4lapsRichard Cypress Gorry (Whole Athlete / Specialized)
-4lapsRyan Standish (Fort Lewis College)
-5lapsMenso De Jong (Team Clif Bar Cycling)
-5lapsSamuel Morrison (The Gear Movement Pro Cycling Team)
-5lapsSkyler Trujillo (James Bros. Bikes)
-5lapsThomas Sampson (Pemi-Baker Cycling Club)
-5lapsChase Dickens (American Classic)
-5lapsWilliam Melone (Riverside Racing)
-5lapsRyan Geiger (Team Winded)
-5lapsAlex Wild
-5lapsTravis (TJ) Woodruff (Momentum Endurance)
-5lapsMichael Sampson (Pemi-Baker Cycling Club)
-5lapsJustin Piontek
-5lapsTyler Gauthier (Range Mountain Bike Association/)
-5lapsDavid Flaten (Us Military Cycling Team Fueled By Frs)
-6lapsGian Dalle Angelini (Monster Systems Racing)
-6lapsDaniel Sturm (Black Bear Cycling)
-6lapsKeegan Swenson (Cannondale Factory Racing)
-6lapsBradford Perley (Champion System/Cannondale)
-6lapsBen Ortt
-6lapsChristopher Hamlin
-6lapsCody Phillips
-6lapsKenneth Hall (Lindsey Wilson College)
-6lapsScott Hoffner (Team Priority Health)
-6lapsTanner Hurst (Nashvillecyclist.Com)
-6lapsDavis Bentley
-7lapsMitchell Hoke (Kenda Felt)
-7lapsSam Chovan (Mafia Racing/Mafia Racing)
-7lapsTaylor Schmidt
-7lapsBraden Kappius (Team Clif Bar Cycling)
-7lapsTodd Latocha (Appalachian Bicycle Racing Association)
-8lapsJoshua West
-8lapsJake Wade (Toasted Head Racing)
DNFJordan Kahlenberg (Giant Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Team)
DNFSepp Kuss (RMCF-Devo)

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