Back on the home side of the Atlantic, two-time Olympian and former Fort Lewis College cyclist Todd Wells took fourth in a U.S. Cup cross country event in Birmingham, Ala., last weekend.
The Bump and Grind was the first-ever event in the state for the inaugural Cup, and it treated the riders to a warm welcome.
"The weather was perfect, sunny and warm all weekend with not much humidity (for the East Coast)," Wells said in a release to the Herald. "The race was held in beautiful Oak Mountain State Park and was mostly fast, flowy single track with a short asphalt climb and descent."
After two DNFs in Germany and a 16th-place finish in Madrid, Spain, on the World Cup circuit, where he is ranked 36th overall, Wells jumped into the front group early and held on.
"I had a decent start getting into the single track in the top ten, and we formed a group of eight on the first of five laps," Wells said. "By the second lap, we were down to six, and on the third lap, we were only five, and it would stay that way until just before the finish."
Sid Taberly attacked on the day's only climb, a steep pavement climb about 2K from the finish, Wells said.
"I had been feeling great all day but couldn't match his speed at the end, and (Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski) also went across to him," Wells said. "I chased hard, but (Max) Plaxton came around me at the end for third, and I had to settle for fourth."
Wells was glad to see a large number of spectators and film crews at the National Series event, and he enjoyed his first taste of Alabama.
"If you've never been (there) and have preconceived notions of the South, I would say it is worth the trip," Wells said. "The people are some of the nicest I have met in my travels throughout the world."
The U.S. Cup will come to Colorado Springs for its fifth of 13 events June 13 for the Sand Creek International Classic.
"I'm looking forward to racing fairly close to home," Wells said.