Looking back at 2011, Singletrack.com felt the need to raise a glass to one American who had an unquestionably epic year. Todd Wells was chewing up his competition and spitting out the gristle all year, and getting outstanding results across disciplines.
The Durango, Colo. resident is certainly a competitor that rises to the occasion for important races.
At 15th place, he is the highest UCI ranked American in cross country. This year, Wells impressed everyone with his seventh-place finish at the world championships. He took a national championship, plus a third-place finish at the American continental MTB championships.
Wells also bagged a win at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, Calif., plus a second place at the Pro XCT #4, Dripping Springs, third at Pro XCT #5, Subaru Cup, and third at the Pro XCT #1, the US Cup Tripple Crown.
Not only was he was getting huge results in cross country and in short track, but also casually winning endurance races Leadville Trail 100 and La Ruta de los Conquistadores. He took the leaders jersey in stage 1 of La Ruta and held onto it for the win in his first ever mountain bike stage race.
Just to prove that he was a jack of all trades, Wells shredded this cyclocross season, as well. Before even competing in La Ruta, he went into the cyclocross season in his stars and stripes jersey. He took a win at Jingle Cross Rock and got second at the USGP of cyclocross #6, the Derby City Cup. Wells is currently ranked in the top-50 internationally in cyclocross.
With London on the horizon, the 2008 Olympian has American eyes all focused on him. When it comes to Americans that can take on international competition like there is at the Olympics, Wells is a more promising candidate than any the GOP has running for president.
To give us some insight into what was going through his mind while getting these wins this year, Wells captioned photos from some of his major results in 2011. See his photo captions here.