Max Plaxton (Specialized) won the Subaru Cup cross country, a stop on USA Cycling's US Pro XCT in Wisconsin. Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis) finished a close second and was easily the most aggressive rider. US National Champion Todd Wells (Specialized) was third, followed by Adam Craig (Team Giant) in fourth, and young Stephen Ettinger (BMC) in fifth place.
After his victory, Plaxton said, "It's been a good year in the Pro XCT Series. It's my series, so I feel like I own it."
The course at Mt. Morris was in perfect condition despite days of rain prior to the event today. Many of the riders compared the course to a World Cup course, both in length, and with the punchy climbs and vocal crowds.
The large men's field started with Ryan Woodall (Brick City Bicycles/Mtfmx.Com) leading initially. In the first half lap, at least nine riders were in the mix including the eventual podium finishers and favorites Ryan Trebon (LTS Felt), Sid Taberlay (H2O Overdrive), Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru Trek) and Barry Wicks (Kona). But with Kabush setting a blistering pace, only Wells and Plaxton could match the speed.
Throughout the race, Kabush and Plaxton traded body blows while Plaxton struggled to stay with them. "I wasn't riding some of the technical stuff as good as I wanted to and I would get gapped. After lap two or three, my wheel just washed out near the finish and it took a lot out of me to get back up."
"These guys were just attacking each other so I was pretty happy to just sit on and recover for a few laps… we were riding fast!" said Plaxton.
Behind the leaders, the order settled down a bit with the exception of Adam Craig (Rabobank Giant). Again, he seemed to will himself forward, and eventually claimed the fourth spot. After the race, he appeared to be having some back pain and was quickly attended to by his team.
Stephen Ettinger (BMC) rode solidly in fifth place in elite company to claim his first US Pro XCT podium spot ever. "This is so much fun racing at this level. It feels pretty damn good to be racing these guys…I had their posters on my wall growing up."
On the fifth lap of the race, Kabush and Plaxton came through the start/finish with about a 50-foot lead on Wells. Wells later said, "On the fifth lap Plaxton attacked, and he and Kabush got away. I could see them, but at the end they opened it up a little bit. This is a good power course. There's a lot of short, punchy climbs. They attacked on the first start hill on the fifth lap, and I didn't have the power to stay with them.
On the sixth and final lap of the race, Plaxton planned a very strategic attack. "There was a section where Geoff's bars were barely fitting through the trees. He's got these huge handlebars and was nearly coming to a complete stop. I attacked him just before that and got a little gap. I knew if you got to those last climbs by yourself it would be hard to pass."
Plaxton solidified his lead in the US Pro XCT series that will conclude next month in Montana. Wells told Cyclingnews he will be skipping that event as Plaxton has a virtual lock on the series. Instead, he will head to his off-season home in Tucson for a short break.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Max Plaxton (Can) Specialized USA||1:50:31|
|2||Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain||0:00:19|
|3||Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Factory Racing||0:00:47|
|4||Adam Craig (USA) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team||0:02:56|
|5||Stephen Ettinger (USA) BMC Mountainbike Devo Team||0:03:21|
|6||Sid Taberlay (Aus) Kenda / H2O Overdrive||0:04:12|
|7||Barry Wicks (USA) Kona||0:04:36|
|8||Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Trek||0:05:19|
|9||Ryan Trebon (USA) Lts/Felt||0:05:39|
|10||Adam Morka (Can) Trek Canada||0:05:52|
|11||Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona||0:06:04|
|12||Carl Decker (USA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team||0:06:10|
|13||Juan Carlos Hernandez (Mex) Mexico||0:06:48|
|14||Spencer Paxson (USA) Kona Factory Team||0:07:03|
|15||Sam Schultz (USA) Subaru-Trek||0:07:08|
|16||Peter Glassford (Can) Trek Canada||0:07:12|
|17||Tristan Schouten (USA) Pabst/Felt/Mafia Racing||0:07:40|
|18||Brian Matter (USA) Pcw / Hyundai||0:08:13|
|19||Rotem Ishay (Isr) Team Jamis Bikes||0:08:19|
|20||Nathan Guerra (USA) Mr Tree Racing Vision||0:08:53|
|21||Mitch Bailey (Can) Trek Canada Mtbteam||0:09:34|
|22||Mitchell Hoke (USA) Tokyo Joes||0:09:58|
|23||Mike Phillips (USA) Adventure 212/Specialized||0:10:02|
|24||Josh Carlson (Aus) Rockstar Racing/ Giant Bicycle||0:10:35|
|25||Ignacio Torres Acosta (Mex) Mexican Team||0:10:45|
|26||Jose Juan Escarcega SalT (Mex)||0:10:53|
|27||Justin Lindine (USA) Bikereg.Com / Joe'S Garage||0:11:37|
|28||Jack Hinkens (USA) BMC Mountainbike Devo Team||0:11:52|
|29||Eric Batty (Can) Trek Canada||0:12:11|
|30||Russell Finsterwald (USA) Subaru-Trek||0:12:22|
|31||Ryan Woodall (USA) Brick City Bicycles/Mtfmx.Com||0:12:52|
|32||Kerry Werner (USA) BMC Mountainbike Devo Team||0:13:25|
|33||Drew Edsall (USA) Firstplaceracing / Super Cool||0:13:54|
|34||Emmanuel Valencia (Mex) Mexican Team||0:15:10|
|35||Colin Cares (USA) Kenda/Felt||0:15:43|
|36||T J Woodruff (USA) Trek Bicycles Boulder||0:16:51|
|37||Brandon Draugelis (USA) Team CF||0:17:11|
|38||Ronald Stawicki (USA) Team Polska||0:17:45|
|39||Troy Wells (USA) Team Clif Bar||0:21:04|
|- 1 Lap||Darrin Braun (USA) Adventure 212/Specialized|
|- 1 Lap||Brian Eppen (USA) Mercy-Specialized|
|- 1 Lap||Chris Peariso (USA) Adventure 212 /Specialized|
|- 1 Lap||Travis Saeler (USA) Trek 29Er Crew|
|- 1 Lap||Ben Koenig (USA) Rmc / Red Eye Brewery|
|- 1 Lap||Brent Steinberg (USA) Livetrainrace.Com|
|- 1 Lap||Graham Aldredge (USA) Carmichael Training Systems|
|- 1 Lap||Kevin Fish (USA) Bicycle Sport Shop|
|- 1 Lap||Stephen Dempsey (USA) Quiring Cycles|
|- 2 Laps||Rafael Excarcega Salaza (Mex) Mexico|
|- 2 Laps||Cody Kaiser (USA) California Giant Berry Mtb|
|- 2 Laps||Craig Wohlschlaeger (USA) The Hub/ Giant|
|- 2 Laps||Aaron Elwell (USA) Highgear/Trek|
|- 2 Laps||Nicholas Weighall (USA) California Giant Berry Mtb|
|- 2 Laps||Mark Pamelee (USA) Cycletherapy|
|- 2 Laps||Wesley Lamberson (USA) Cy-Kenda-Thomson-Notubes|
|- 2 Laps||Andy Schultz (USA) Kenda/Felt|
|- 2 Laps||Rich Weis (USA) Trek|
|- 3 Laps||Karl Tillman (USA) Bikes Limited/Scenic Concepts|
|DNS||Mike Anderson (USA) Trek 29Er Crew/Sram|
|DNF||Scott Cole (USA) Adventure 212/Specialized|
|DNF||Jordan Kahlenberg (USA) Giant Mid-Atlantic|
|DNF||Braden Kappius (USA) Clif Bar|
|DNS||Scott Kylander-Johnson (USA) Trek/Kuhl|
|DNS||John Nobil (USA) Bear Valley Bikes|
|DNF||Seamus Powell (USA) Giant Mid Atlantic|
|DNF||Jason Siegle (USA) SDG/Felt|
|DNS||Anthony Sinyard (USA) Specialized|