The Sho-Air/Specialized cross country team signed its newest member, Canadian Max Plaxton. He joins current members including five-time Australian national champion and Athens Olympian Sid Taberlay, former US U23 cross country national champion Sammy Jurekovic and endurance specialist Manuel Prado.
Plaxton will race the US Cup series and the two Canadian World Cup rounds before hitting it hard for 2010.
"The guys at Sho-Air have been unbelievable," said Plaxton. "2008 was a hard year in terms of getting the door slammed in my face by the industry. I really considered going back to school and hanging my cleats up until Scott Tedro [the team's owner - ed.] threw me a life line."
"From what I have seen, this team is like family and I look forward to racing and hanging with a great group of people."
Plaxton turned heads in 2006 when he won the bronze medal in the Under 23 cross country race at the Pan American Championships. He is a five-time Canadian national champion and has twice raced as part of the Canadian team on the way to winning the world championship team relay.
"It's our goal to provide our riders with a healthy environment so they can focus on riding and racing," said Team Sho-Air manager Ty Kady. "It's all about family for Scott, and he wouldn't have it any other way."
"To see a rider of Max's caliber become of victim of the industry and left out to dry isn't something new to us, so we were glad to lend a helping hand. We're hoping for some big things from our younger riders in the next few years. Max and Sammy J are only 23 and we think in the right environment, they can be Olympic-level riders," said Kady.
Plaxton will make his debut with the Sho-Air/Specialized team at the opening round of the US ProXCT in Fontana, California, on March 29.