If Todd Wells was overwhelmed the first time he made the Olympics, he was confident in his second appearance.

His season had gone well, and figured he had a chance to finish in the top five, if not win a medal, in the 2008 Games in Beijing.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself,” he said, “and completely melted down in the race.”

He finished 43rd.

If it wasn’t the worst mountain bike race of his life, he said, it was “on the top-five list.”

The four years since have given Wells — who spends his winters training in Tucson near his Starr Pass condo — plenty of time to figure out why.

Maybe, in his second Olympic trip, Wells felt the weight of his own expectations. Or he was nervous, knowing that, for the second time, he was on his sport’s biggest stage.

Read more about Wells in Saturday's Arizona Daily Star.