Wells made the announcement on his personal web page with a lengthy recollection of a career that dates back to childhood BMX racing. He took up mountain bike racing in high school, and his career took off while in college in Durango, Colorado. He turned professional in 1997.
He reflected on moving into the sport during the height of the EPO era, and his decision to not take part in doping. "I had thought about doping but couldn't do it," Wells wrote. "I would love to think it was a moral decision but guys were dying in their sleep, there were rumors national teams were traveling with centrifuges to spin the guys blood every day and people were getting up in the middle of the night to run up the stairs to keep their blood from clogging up. It all seemed crazy. I had fallen in love with the sport but wasn't willing to risk my life for it."
Wells quit the sport for a time, but came back and rose up the professional ranks. He made the US Olympic team for Athens, Beijing and London, but was devastated in 2013 by the death of his close friend and fellow MTB racer Burry Stander, who was struck by a driver and killed in 2013.
"After he was killed in 2013 I lost my motivation to race at the highest level," Wells wrote. "I still loved racing and competing but no longer had the drive to compete at that top level so I focused more on domestic racing. I still trained hard and made all the sacrifices but when I went from competing at the highest level to just domestic racing my level decreased. It's hard to describe but once I had pushed to that level and was no longer striving to be the best I lost a bit. I still got some great results but wasn't nearly at my 2008 peak."