Wells on Day 1 at Nittany. © Cyclocross Magazine

Wells on Day 1 at Nittany. © Cyclocross Magazine

Last weekend saw a surprise at the start: Todd Wells racing in Pennsylvania for the second time in two months (the first time, he took the win in short track at MTB Nationals). On Saturday and Sunday at Nittany Lion Cross, he took the wins, though not without a long, drawn out fight. We caught up with him post-race to find out why he was starting his ’cross season early and what’s in store for him for the next few months.

On a non-front row start position… “By the time the points go in, I’ll be done racing for a while! Last year I didn’t race much ’cross either so I didn’t have great start position then. I’m used to it, kind of… At international MTB events I’m usually not on the front either.”

On his season… “I came out here because I’m trying to have a better CrossVegas than I usually have. Even today, I had a good result but I just died and felt like quitting the entire race. I’m hoping that feeling goes away after a couple races and I get in my cyclocross groove.”

“I have some time off, some mountain bike races like La Ruta and the Iceman race. Then I’ll take a break after that and come back for ’cross in the winter before Nationals.”

On the course… “The bike handling and acceleration is much different than mountain bike. It’s more of a grind compared to a cyclocross course like this. It was hard, a lot of drafting, a lot of corners.”

“A lot of these guys race on the road in the summer. I really enjoy racing on the road but my mountain bike season hasn’t allowed it for the last few years. I think the road guys come into these cyclocross races pretty well prepared. I’m more slog and grind so when the weather’s bad and speeds are slower, I do better. It’s good to come out here and suffer trying to hang with these guys.”

On Nationals chances… Definitely. I feel like I can be up there if I can prepare properly, don’t get sick and things go well.

On his bike… I’ll be racing on the hydraulic disc brake bike starting in CrossVegas. I just made the plan to come out here two weeks ago so it wasn’t quite ready.

Stay tuned as we see how Wells does under the lights out in Las Vegas next week!