Plaxton bests Kabush in cross country

Wells takes third

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.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Max Plaxton (Can) Specialized USA1:50:31 
2Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain0:00:19 
3Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Factory Racing0:00:47 
4Adam Craig (USA) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:02:56 
5Stephen Ettinger (USA) BMC Mountainbike Devo Team0:03:21 
6Sid Taberlay (Aus) Kenda / H2O Overdrive0:04:12 
7Barry Wicks (USA) Kona0:04:36 
8Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Trek0:05:19 
9Ryan Trebon (USA) Lts/Felt0:05:39 
10Adam Morka (Can) Trek Canada0:05:52 
11Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona0:06:04 
12Carl Decker (USA) Giant Factory Off-Road Team0:06:10 
13Juan Carlos Hernandez (Mex) Mexico0:06:48 
14Spencer Paxson (USA) Kona Factory Team0:07:03 
15Sam Schultz (USA) Subaru-Trek0:07:08 
16Peter Glassford (Can) Trek Canada0:07:12 
17Tristan Schouten (USA) Pabst/Felt/Mafia Racing0:07:40 
18Brian Matter (USA) Pcw / Hyundai0:08:13 
19Rotem Ishay (Isr) Team Jamis Bikes0:08:19 
20Nathan Guerra (USA) Mr Tree Racing Vision0:08:53 
21Mitch Bailey (Can) Trek Canada Mtbteam0:09:34 
22Mitchell Hoke (USA) Tokyo Joes0:09:58 
23Mike Phillips (USA) Adventure 212/Specialized0:10:02 
24Josh Carlson (Aus) Rockstar Racing/ Giant Bicycle0:10:35 
25Ignacio Torres Acosta (Mex) Mexican Team0:10:45 
26Jose Juan Escarcega SalT (Mex)0:10:53 
27Justin Lindine (USA) Bikereg.Com / Joe'S Garage0:11:37 
28Jack Hinkens (USA) BMC Mountainbike Devo Team0:11:52 
29Eric Batty (Can) Trek Canada0:12:11 
30Russell Finsterwald (USA) Subaru-Trek0:12:22 
31Ryan Woodall (USA) Brick City Bicycles/Mtfmx.Com0:12:52 
32Kerry Werner (USA) BMC Mountainbike Devo Team0:13:25 
33Drew Edsall (USA) Firstplaceracing / Super Cool0:13:54 
34Emmanuel Valencia (Mex) Mexican Team0:15:10 
35Colin Cares (USA) Kenda/Felt0:15:43 
36T J Woodruff (USA) Trek Bicycles Boulder0:16:51 
37Brandon Draugelis (USA) Team CF0:17:11 
38Ronald Stawicki (USA) Team Polska0:17:45 
39Troy Wells (USA) Team Clif Bar0:21:04 
- 1 LapDarrin Braun (USA) Adventure 212/Specialized  
- 1 LapBrian Eppen (USA) Mercy-Specialized  
- 1 LapChris Peariso (USA) Adventure 212 /Specialized  
- 1 LapTravis Saeler (USA) Trek 29Er Crew  
- 1 LapBen Koenig (USA) Rmc / Red Eye Brewery  
- 1 LapBrent Steinberg (USA) Livetrainrace.Com  
- 1 LapGraham Aldredge (USA) Carmichael Training Systems  
- 1 LapKevin Fish (USA) Bicycle Sport Shop  
- 1 LapStephen Dempsey (USA) Quiring Cycles  
- 2 LapsRafael Excarcega Salaza (Mex) Mexico  
- 2 LapsCody Kaiser (USA) California Giant Berry Mtb  
- 2 LapsCraig Wohlschlaeger (USA) The Hub/ Giant  
- 2 LapsAaron Elwell (USA) Highgear/Trek  
- 2 LapsNicholas Weighall (USA) California Giant Berry Mtb  
- 2 LapsMark Pamelee (USA) Cycletherapy  
- 2 LapsWesley Lamberson (USA) Cy-Kenda-Thomson-Notubes  
- 2 LapsAndy Schultz (USA) Kenda/Felt  
- 2 LapsRich Weis (USA) Trek  
- 3 LapsKarl Tillman (USA) Bikes Limited/Scenic Concepts  
DNSMike Anderson (USA) Trek 29Er Crew/Sram  
DNFScott Cole (USA) Adventure 212/Specialized  
DNFJordan Kahlenberg (USA) Giant Mid-Atlantic  
DNFBraden Kappius (USA) Clif Bar  
DNSScott Kylander-Johnson (USA) Trek/Kuhl  
DNSJohn Nobil (USA) Bear Valley Bikes  
DNFSeamus Powell (USA) Giant Mid Atlantic  
DNFJason Siegle (USA) SDG/Felt  
DNSAnthony Sinyard (USA) Specialized  


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