Max Plaxton (Cannondale Factory Racing) opened the USA Cycling US Cup Pro Series at the Mellow Johnny's Classic with victory in the elite men's cross country mountain bike race on Saturday in Dripping Springs, Texas.
The young Keegan Swenson (Cannondale Factory Racing) surprised his elders by leading out the first lap at a blazing pace. Swenson's efforts created a lead group of about a half dozen riders; a chase group pursued the leaders but never could close down the gap.
Unfortunately, Swenson's luck ran out when he flatted on the far side of lap 2 of the six-lap race. That left Plaxton, Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox), Todd Wells (Specialized), Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) and Derek Zandstra (Scott-3Rox) as the leaders.
Freshly back to elite racing, Sam Schultz (Sho-Air/Cannondale) was putting in a strong ride and had worked his way up to sixth place when he also flatted three and a half laps into the race.
The fireworks began on the last lap, and Plaxton launched his winning attack on the final main climb, then held off fellow Canadian Kabush by two seconds at the finish. Wells followed in third another eight seconds later.
It was Plaxton's fourth-ever victory at the Mellow Johnny's Classic.
"Texas is good for me! It’s great to start off this season, my first with Cannondale Factory Racing, and this great new series with a win!" said Plaxton, post-race.
Bishop and Zandstra could not match the pace of the top three on the last lap and fell back a bit, blown by their first big national-level race effort of the season. Bishop rolled in alone to claim fourth place while Zandstra held onto fifth place.
Payson McElveen (Richard's Rainwater MTB Racing) put in the break out performance of the day. The young privateer finished an impressive sixth place.
After round one of four of the USA Cycling US Cup, the series standings match the results of the initial race. Plaxton leads the series ahead of Kabush and Wells.
The USA Cycling US Cup presented by Sho-Air Cycling Group series will continue with round 2, a UCI Category HC race at Bonelli Park in California on Saturday, March 15.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Max Plaxton (Can) Cannondale Factory Team||1:28:00|
|2||Geoffrey Kabush (Can) Scott-3Rox Racing||0:00:02|
|3||Todd Wells (USA) Specialized||0:00:10|
|4||Jeremiah Bishop (USA) Team Sho-Air/Cannondale||0:00:25|
|5||Derek Zanstra (Can) Scott-3ROXRacing||0:01:07|
|6||Payson McElveen (USA) Richard's Rainwater MTB Racing||0:01:45|
|7||Benjamin Sonntag (Ger) NoTubes Elite Racing||0:02:35|
|8||Spencer Paxson (USA) Kona Bicycles||0:02:41|
|9||Alex Grant (USA) Team Sho-Air/Cannondale||0:03:05|
|10||Russell Finsterwald (USA) SRAM- Troy Lee Designs Race Team||0:03:30|
|11||Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona||0:04:05|
|12||Ryan Trebon (USA) Team Sho-Air/Cannondale||0:04:12|
|13||Troy Wells (USA) Team Clif Bar||0:04:23|
|14||Adam Morka (Can) WFP Coaching / Trek Bikes||0:04:28|
|15||Hector fernando Riveros (Col) Scott-RotorUsa KOM marketing||0:04:43|
|16||Carl Decker (USA) Giant||0:05:07|
|17||Jason Sager (USA) Backcountry.com||0:05:20|
|18||Casey Williams (USA) Whole Athlete/Specialized||0:05:38|
|19||Rotem Ishay (Isr) Team Jamis Bikes||0:05:44|
|20||Mitchell. Hoke (USA) The Pro's Closet - Stan's NoTubes MTB||0:05:59|
|21||Tristan Uhl (USA) 787 Racing||0:07:38|
|22||Ryan Woodall (USA) The Pro's Closet - Stan's Notubes Mtb Team||0:07:41|
|23||Chris Baddick (GBr) Red Ace Organics||0:08:05|
|24||Billy Melone (USA) Riverside Racing||0:08:18|
|25||Antoine Caron (Can) Specialized Racing Canada||0:09:10|
|26||Bryan Alders (USA) Marin Bikes Factory Team||0:09:32|
|27||Menso De Jong (USA) Team Clif Bar Cycling||0:10:15|
|28||Jack Hinkens (USA) Penn Cycle Trek||0:10:26|
|29||Keck Baker (USA) Champ Sys/Cannondale/C.B.C/Battley Harley||0:10:30|
|30||Cole Oberman (USA) RareDiseaseCycling.org||0:11:09|
|31||Elliot Reinecke (USA) Velo Hangar FOCUS bikes||0:11:30|
|32||Miguel Valadez Ortiz (Mex) Valle Congelado||0:11:43|
|33||Michael Hosey (USA) Soulcraft||0:11:46|
|34||David Vaughn (USA) ZiaVelo||0:12:17|
|35||Carson Lange (USA) VooDoo Racing||0:13:21|
|36||Joseph Maloney (USA) KS Energy Services/Team Wisconsin||0:14:14|
|37||Tom Sampson (USA) adigga racing||0:14:42|
|38||TJ Woodruff (USA) backcountry.com||0:14:54|
|39||Drew Edsall (USA) Pro's Closet / Stan's No Tubes||0:15:38|
|40||Gareth Feldstein (USA) Team Muscle Milk/NP Bikes/Cannondale||0:16:02|
|41||Skyler Taylor (USA) Bear development team||0:16:36|
|42||Brady Stewart (USA) Chain Link Racing||0:17:33|
|43||Jordan Kahlenberg (USA) Giant Northeast Pro Team||0:17:52|
|44||Keegan Swenson (USA) Cannondale Factory Racing||0:18:11|
|45||Rocky Gingg (USA) Momentum Endurance/Cycle Progression||0:18:28|
|46||Braden Kappius (USA) Team Clif Bar||0:19:21|
|47||Kalan Beisel (USA) Giant-Tuff Shed||0:19:27|
|48||Wohlschlaegecraig (USA) Giant||0:19:39|
|-1lap||Timothy Rugg (USA) Battley Harley-Davidson|
|-1lap||Garet Steinmetz (USA) Ethos|
|-1lap||Pete Macleod (USA) Bar Fly / Blue Hills|
|-1lap||Dan Wolf (USA) Pro Tested Gear|
|-1lap||Brian Barrow (USA) The Peddler Bike Shop|
|-1lap||David Flaten (USA) Giant North East Off Road|
|-1lap||Madison Matthews (USA) Toasted Head Racing / GU Energy|
|DNF||Kerry Werner Jr. (USA) BMC project Dirt presented by KMC|
|DNF||Cameron Jette (Can) Scott-3ROX Racing|
|DNF||Sam Schultz (USA) Team Sho-Air/Cannondale|
|DNF||Alex Meucci (USA) Bent's Cycling and Fitness|
|DNF||Martin Cox (USA) Super Cool Bike Shop|
|DNF||Sepp Kuss (USA) BMC project Dirt presented by KMC|
|DNF||Ryan Geiger (USA) Tropix-FRM Factory Race Team|
|DNF||Ernie Watenpaugh (USA) Jack Daniel's|
|DNF||Alex Wild (USA) Trail Head Racing - Specialized|
|DNF||Andrew Dahlheim (USA) Bio Racer Speedwear|
|DNF||Steve Tilford (USA) TradeWind Energy/Eriksen Cycles|
|DNF||Ignacio Torres (Mex) Turbo Mexico|
|DNS||John Nobil (USA) bear valley bikes|
|DNS||Scott Henry (USA) Cycle Progression|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Max Plaxton (Canada) Cannondale Factory Racing||30||pts|
|2||Geoffrey Kabush (Canada) Scott-3Rox Racing||27|
|3||Todd Wells (United States) Specialized Racing||25|
|4||Jeremiah Bishop (United States) Sho-Air/Cannondale||23|
|5||Derek Zandstra (Canada) Scott-3Rox Racing||21|