Todd Wells (Specialized) capped off a fantastic weekend with a win in the short track national championship on Sunday afternoon in Granby, Colorado. Wells' victory came the day after he earned the cross country national title.
"It seems like I have always missed out, but this weekend, things just seemed to fall into place," said Wells.
On the dusty course, Wells was clearly the strongest rider. He, Jeremy Horgan Kobelski (Subaru/Trek) and Sam Schultz (Subaru/Trek) initially pulled away, gapping the rest of the field.
"I wasn't feeling so good before the race but once we got going, I must have recovered pretty well overnight and I was able to put in a good ride," said Wells.
Then Wells powered away from the two Subaru/Trek riders. "It wasn't a full out attack today, but I could see they were suffering, so I decided to push the pace a little," said Wells. "Up here at altitude, it's hard to attack. If you go into the red zone, it's hard to come back out."
"It was every bit as hard as it looked," said JHK. "I was suffering, but I think everyone was. It was just one of those courses with lots of hard, punchy short efforts every lap and nowhere to recover. I felt decent out there, but Todd was the strongest guy this weekend, and I think I was the second strongest guy this weekend." Like the elite women, the men raced 20 minutes plus three laps.
Schultz seemed to run out of gas as the race progressed. He dropped off the pace of Horgan Kobelski and was caught by Adam Craig (Giant) on the final lap.
"I thought Sam and I were going to be able to work together, but we were both so on the rivet that no one could take an extra hard pull to close the gap down," said JHK.
Craig was third, Schultz was fourth and Carl Decker (Giant) put in a solid race to take fifth place.
"I could tell Sam was just barely fading. I didn't think I'd have enough time," said Craig. "I thought we'd get three laps to go two laps before we did based on looking at the clock, but it worked out fine."
"I had to keep the boy honest, he's getting pretty fast," joked Craig. "It's good not to let him get too big for his britches."
Riders gave input on the short track course to USA Cycling's Marc Gullickson, who helped incorporate the feedback in time for Sunday's racing. The course differed from the previous year in that it was more worn in and includes some singletrack bermy sections as well as a short section of the four cross course, going up.
All three top men, Wells, Horgan-Kobelski and Craig, said they were pleased with their form and looking forward to the next two weekends when World Cups will take them to Champery, Switzerland, and Val di Sole, Italy. Most will board planes Monday or Tuesday to cross the pond.
"This race is completely different from the World Cups," said Wells. "Of course, it's always nice to win and this race gives me confidence but that's a whole nother animcal over there. The course are hard, it's at sea level and there are like 200 guys racing. I feel good and I know what to expect."
"This weekend went well. Two good races is all you can ask for. My form is where I want to be and I feel like I can ride fast," said JHK.
Craig was pleased to see his form building as he continues his comeback post-knee surgery. He was looking forward to being in Europe in July.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team|
|1||Todd Wells (Specialized)|
|2||Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru/Trek)|
|3||Adam Craig (Giant/Rabobank)|
|4||Sam Schultz (Subaru/Trek)|
|6||Ryan Trebon (Kona)|
|7||Colin Cares (Kenda/Felt)|
|8||Tad Elliott (U23 National Team)|
|9||Troy Wells (Team Clif Bar)|
|11||Andy Schultz (Kenda/Felt)|
|13||Russell Finsterwald (Subaru/Trek)|
|14||Michael Broderick (Kenda/Seven/NoTubes)|
|16||Stephen Ettinger (US National Team)|
|17||Tim Allen (Niner-Ergon)|
|18||Barry Wicks (Kona)|
|19||Mitchell Hoke (Tokyo Joe's)|
|21||Macky Franklin (MTB PRO Team: Yeti-Sunflower Markets)|
|22||Scott Frederick (Inland Construction)|
|25||Kerry Werner (Christiana Cycling/Shirk''s Racing Presented by Trek Bikes)|
|26||Travis Woodruff (Trek Bicycle Store Race Team)|
|27||Bradford Perley (Mafia Racing)|
|29||Thomas Sampson (Cannondale)|
|30||Brad Bingham (Moots Cycles)|
|31||Joe Schneider (3D Racing)|
|32||Drew Edsall (Yeti / Sun Flower Market)|
|33||Jack Hinkens (Trek Co-op)|
|35||Bryce Gordon (Honey Stinger/Trek)|
|36||Robert Marion (Carpe Diem Racing)|
|37||John Curry (Gallatin Valley Bicycle Club/Gallatin Alpine Sports)|
|39||Nate Byrom (Northstar / Giant)|
|41||Wesley Lamberson (Cycleyouth U23 Pro Team)|
|42||Benjamin Portilla (Honey Stinger/ Trek)|
|43||Jason Siegle (Bike Religion)|
|45||Aaron Elwell (High Gear / Trek)|
|46||Clinton Claassen (Team Mad Cat)|
|48||Scott Kuppersmith (Herring Gas Cycling/Herring Gas Cycling Team)|
|49||Carl Hesselein (Whole Athlete Cycling)|
|50||Richard Schoenfelder (Gallatin Valley Bicycle Club/Gallatin Alpine Sports)|
|51||John Bennett (Whole Athlete)|
|52||Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale Factory Racing)|
|53||Braden Kappius (Team Clif Bar)|
|54||John Nobil (Bear Valley Bikes)|
|55||Erik Tonkin (Kona)|
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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews. She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.
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