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Todd Well repeats as USA Marathon Champ

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There was a Sierra Nevada moment on the podium.

There was a Sierra Nevada moment on the podium.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Cole Oberman (Ridebiker) is one of the young elite racers that are starting to get noticeable results.

Cole Oberman (Ridebiker) is one of the young elite racers that are starting to get noticeable results.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Ryan Woodall was riding in fourth place after 45 miles

Ryan Woodall was riding in fourth place after 45 miles
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Aaron Oakes emerging from Feed Station three.

Aaron Oakes emerging from Feed Station three.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Troy Wells (Cliff Bar) was riding in fifth place after 45 miles

Troy Wells (Cliff Bar) was riding in fifth place after 45 miles
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Jordan Wakeley trying to stay cool in the humid 90-degree conditions

Jordan Wakeley trying to stay cool in the humid 90-degree conditions
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Cole Oberman (Ridebiker) and Scott Hoffner were riding together with fifteen miles to go.

Cole Oberman (Ridebiker) and Scott Hoffner were riding together with fifteen miles to go.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Scott Hoffner riding a pretty section of singletrack in Wildwood Park

Scott Hoffner riding a pretty section of singletrack in Wildwood Park
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Payson McElveen (Ridebiker Alliance) riding to a 7th place finish.

Payson McElveen (Ridebiker Alliance) riding to a 7th place finish.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Todd Wells (SRAM-TLD-Scott) rolls past the finish line to claim his 3rd Marathon National Championship.

Todd Wells (SRAM-TLD-Scott) rolls past the finish line to claim his 3rd Marathon National Championship.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Jeremiah Bishop (Topeak Ergon) overcame some mid-race energy problems to claim 2nd place.

Jeremiah Bishop (Topeak Ergon) overcame some mid-race energy problems to claim 2nd place.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Todd Wells (SRAM-TLD-Scott) and Jeremiah Bishop (Topeak Ergon) have raced each other countless times over the past couple decades.

Todd Wells (SRAM-TLD-Scott) and Jeremiah Bishop (Topeak Ergon) have raced each other countless times over the past couple decades.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Troy Wells (Cliff Bar) looked cooked after finishing his race in 6th place.

Troy Wells (Cliff Bar) looked cooked after finishing his race in 6th place.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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David Flatten (US Military Endurance) also appeared that he left nothing out on the course.

David Flatten (US Military Endurance) also appeared that he left nothing out on the course.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Men’s podium (L to R) Jeremiah Bishop (Topeak Ergon-Canyon) 2nd, Todd Wells (SRAM-TLD-Scott) 1st, Ryan Woodall (Top Gear) 3rd

Men’s podium (L to R) Jeremiah Bishop (Topeak Ergon-Canyon) 2nd, Todd Wells (SRAM-TLD-Scott) 1st, Ryan Woodall (Top Gear) 3rd
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Jeremiah Bishop (Topeak-Ergon) trailed Wells and Tristen Cowie at Feed Station four.

Jeremiah Bishop (Topeak-Ergon) trailed Wells and Tristen Cowie at Feed Station four.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Todd Wells (SRAM-TLD-Scott) broke free of the pack after the halfway point and rode solo for nearly 30 miles.

Todd Wells (SRAM-TLD-Scott) broke free of the pack after the halfway point and rode solo for nearly 30 miles.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Todd Wells (SRAM-TLD-Scott) was the pre-race favorite to repeat as champion.

Todd Wells (SRAM-TLD-Scott) was the pre-race favorite to repeat as champion.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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The front row contained plenty of endurance specialists.

The front row contained plenty of endurance specialists.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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The Elite men are led out by Ryan Woodall (Top Gear) and Cole Oberman (Ridebiker Alliance)

The Elite men are led out by Ryan Woodall (Top Gear) and Cole Oberman (Ridebiker Alliance)
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Cole Oberman (Ridebiker) unclipping for one of the hundreds of turns on the course.

Cole Oberman (Ridebiker) unclipping for one of the hundreds of turns on the course.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Jeremiah Biship (Topeak-Ergon/ Canyon) sat back in the pack for the first 30 miles.

Jeremiah Biship (Topeak-Ergon/ Canyon) sat back in the pack for the first 30 miles.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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David Flatten (US Military Endurance) rounding a corner at the 24-mile mark.

David Flatten (US Military Endurance) rounding a corner at the 24-mile mark.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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A rider zigzags through an oak forest.

A rider zigzags through an oak forest.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Tristan Cowie (ATA) riding with the leaders during the first 30-mile loop.

Tristan Cowie (ATA) riding with the leaders during the first 30-mile loop.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Charles Snyder (Cannondale Champion System) riding singletrack during the first half of the race.

Charles Snyder (Cannondale Champion System) riding singletrack during the first half of the race.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Not everyone seemed interested in watching the race at Wildwood Park.

Not everyone seemed interested in watching the race at Wildwood Park.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)

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.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Todd Wells (USA) SRAM-Troy Lee Designs Racing Team4:08:52
2Jeremiah Bishop (USA) TEAM TOPEAK ERGON0:01:23
3Ryan Woodall (USA)0:04:08
4Tristan Cowie (USA)0:11:07
5Alex Wild (USA)0:15:03
6Troy Wells (USA) TEAM CLIF BAR Cycling0:17:25
7Payson Mcelveen (USA) USA U230:19:00
8Aaron Oakes (USA)0:21:04
9Charles Snyder (USA) Cannondale Champion System0:22:29
10Scott Hoffner (USA)0:24:35
11David Flaten (USA) US Military Endurance Sports0:30:09
12Cole Oberman (USA) Ridebiker Alliance0:32:18
13Jorden Wakeley (USA)0:32:44
14Elliott Baring (USA)
15Alex Vanias (USA) OAM NOW / Athletic Mentors0:33:34
16Bryan Dillon (USA) Topeak-Ergon1:00:44
17Charles Daniel (USA) Raising Cane's Racing1:09:46
18Joseph Williams (USA) Giant Co-Factory Off-Road Team1:24:06
DNFKeck Baker (USA) Blue Ridge Cyclery Racing p/b Reynolds G
DNFKyle Ellis (USA) Cycle Youth

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