Todd Wells Interview

Q: Who did you talk to on the start line of your Olympic xc race, and what did you talk about?

A: I talked to Olie Beckensale(might be spelled wrong) from the UK. I don’t remember what we talked about other then it being hot and the fact that it was pretty cool we were about to race the Olympics. 

Q: What was the techiest thing you saw on your competitors bikes in Beijing?

A: The bike I raced at the Olympics was pretty similar to the bike I raced the rest of the year. The only differences were cosmetic. I would have to say the Blackbox carbon fork crown/steerer tube on the new SID World Cup. There are only a few of those made right now so it was pretty cool to have one.    

Q: You hang out with teammate Burry a ton. Is he cool and what are his strengths and weaknesses?

A: Burry and I do spend a lot of time together. I’m on the road almost all year and so is he so it’s really important we get along well. He is super cool. I would say his strengths are downhills and steep short climbs. He raced DH Worlds as a junior so he has tons of skills and goes uphill fast too. 

Q: Who was the coolest athlete you met in Beijing and if you could be another athlete, which sport would you compete in? (you cant pick an endurance sport or BMX)

A: I met Jenny Finch of the US softball team before the Olympics at a pre Olympic event. She is probably the most famous athlete I met. If I could do any sport it would be the 100 meter dash. It would be cool to be one of the fastest men in the world.   

Q: You and your US World Cup teammates are getting pretty sweet results as of the last two years. There were like 10 years where a top 20 at a WC for a US rider was rare.  Are you guys training more or are you just getting smarter with your training time?

A: I think there are a few things going on. 1. There is much more drug testing now so I think the sport of mountain biking is very fair right now. I’m sure there are some people cheating but for the most part I think racers are clean. 2. A lot of us have been racing World Cups now for quite a while and we are finally figuring it out. It takes time to get to that level. You can look at guys that race on the road in Europe for a long time before they are good. Guys like Levi and Vandevelde raced in Europe for a long time before you ever heard of them. I think it’s the same with the mountain bike, it takes a long time to increase your level at the very top of the sport.  

Q: You finished 5th in Austrailia, a top finish for you, when you stood on the podium, did you almost cry? Describe the feeling.

A: The feeling is amazing. There is so much hard work that went into that and so many low points that it makes it such an incredible feeling. It felt even better since I had just had my worst race of the year at the biggest event in 4 years, the Olympics. I didn’t cry at that race but I did a few months before in Andorra when I got 6th place at the World Cup, my first really high World Cup finish.  

Q: When you think back to racing as a junior, what was the biggest misconception you had about racing in the pro class and making a career of it?

A: I was racing BMX when I was  junior but I think the biggest misconception I had as a young mountain bike racer was how easy it would be to make the transition from amature to pro. As a semi-pro I could compare my times to the pros and they would be close but when I actually made the jump to the pro class I got smoked. Then, racing well in the US against some World Cup riders I thought it would be easy to make the jump to the World Cup but I got smoked. It is amazing how fast everyone is at each next level of competition. But what is more amazing is the fact that a person can push themselves over time to become competitive at ever higher levels. Rock Out!


1 Comment

  1. […] Wells in an interview with the Durango Devo crew says: It takes time to get to that level. You can look at guys that race on the road in Europe […]

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