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Plaxton leads Sho-Air Specialized team to one-two finish

With over 765 elite and amateur starts, the opening round of the H2O Overdrive Triple Crown All Mountain Series in Bonelli Park proved to be a success.

Saturday started off with fireworks in the men's cross country race, as a select group of seven riders went off the front. That group contained all the heavy hitters, Sho-Air/Specialized's Max Plaxton and Sid Taberlay, Maxxis/Rocky Mountain's Geoff Kabush, Gary Fisher/Subaru's Sam Schultz and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Cannondale Factory Racing rider Jeremiah Bishop and Specialized's Factory rider Todd Wells.

These seven riders would set the tone of the cross country race.

Subaru/Fisher's JHK was the first to get popped late into lap one, but the scrappy veteran would fight all day getting back on to the freight train, only to get dropped when the front six traded turns making multiple accelerations.

Newly signed Cannondale Factory rider Jeremiah Bishop stretched his legs, taking pulls at the front, but the former National Champion would soon surrender to the blistering pace set by Plaxton, Taberlay, Wells, Kabush and Schultz.

Then on lap three, Sho-Air/Specialized's Max Plaxton went on a suicide mission and rode off the front with three laps to go, leaving North America's top cross country riders in his dust.

While the "Mountie" went off the front, the cat and mouse games began in the chase group between Wells, Kabush, Taberlay and Schultz.

These games continued and allowed Bishop and JHK to join the group, as well as Trek's Adam Morka. But that was short lived, as Wells made an acceleration on the backside of the course, with only Kabush, Taberlay and Schultz able to respond.

Then with one to go, both Taberlay and Kabush suffered from flat tires, as they came into the tech zone side by side NASCAR style. That allowed Wells and Schultz to get away.

In a display of sheer determination, Sho-Air/Specialized's Taberlay clawed his way back to the trio, taking Kabush along with him. Out front, Plaxton was on cruise control, having no idea of the drama unfolding behind him.

On the final climb, Taberlay punched it into the forest section, dropping the trio of Kabush, Wells and Schultz. Taberlay rode in for second alone.

Kabush and Schultz sprinted for third with Schultz getting the nod, while Wells captured fifth.

Elite women's race

In the elite women's race, going on behind the men's race, a battle was raging. Kelli Emmett of Giant was locked in a personal contest with 2009 cross country World Championship silver medalist, Specialized's Lene Byberg.

The two women were never separated by more than a wheel during the five-lap race, with the American Emmett just getting away at the end to take a slim three-second victory over the Norwegian Byberg.

Third place went to Team Mata/Okole rider Pua Sawicki, followed by Rock N Road Cyclery's Allison Mann and Gary Fisher/Subaru rider Heather Irmiger rounding out the top five.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Max Plaxton (Can) ShoAir/Specialized1:35:35
2Sid Taberlay (Aus) ShoAir/Specilaized0:00:52
3Sam Schultz (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher0:00:53
4Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain0:00:56
5Todd Wells (USA) Specialized0:01:08
6Adam Morka (Can) Trek Canada0:01:24
7Jeremiah Bishop (USA) Cannondale Factory Team0:01:31
8Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher0:02:48
9Barry Wicks (USA) Kona0:03:30
10Peter Glassford (Can)0:03:31
11David Tinker Juarez (USA) Cannondale Factory Team0:03:51
12Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona/FSA0:04:16
13Manuel Prado (CRc) Shoair/Specilaized0:05:08
14TJ Woodruff (USA) Trek Bicycles Boulder0:05:13
15Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona0:05:18
16Russell Finsterwald (USA) Subaru/Gary Fisher0:06:01
17Andy Schultz (USA) Kenda/Felt0:06:24
18Jason Sager (USA) Team Jamis0:07:08
19Mitchell Hoke (USA) Tokyo Joes0:07:38
20Stephen Ettinger (USA) Mafia/Felt/PBR0:08:19
21Colin Cares (USA) Kenda/Felt0:08:46
22Vincent Lombardi (USA) Sho-Air/Sonnance0:09:07
23Miguel Valadez (Mex)0:09:17
24Dana Weber (USA) Trek/World Bicycle Relief0:09:34
25Tad Elliott (USA) Sho-Air/Specialized0:10:31
26Adam Snyder (USA) 3D Bicycles0:10:57
27Aaron Bradford (USA) Specialized/Onsite0:11:07
28Evan Plews (USA) Www.Evanplews.Com0:11:12
29Romolo Forcino (USA) Bear Valley Bikes0:11:21
30Nate Whitman (USA) Cynergy/Specialized0:13:44
31Sean Donovan (USA) KHS 650B Crew0:13:41
32Doug Andrews (USA) Sho-Air/Sonnance0:14:33
33Jeff Herrera (USA) Hammerheadbikes.com0:14:51
34Jason Siegle (USA) Bike Religion0:15:32
35Brent Prenzlow (USA) Celo Pacific/B&L0:15:52
36Matthew Beaton (USA) Tokyo Joes0:15:56
37Alex Boone (USA) Trek Mtn Co-Op0:16:15
38Matthew Cochran (USA) Wins Wheels JWCF0:17:05
39Paul Freiwald (USA) Pivot Cycles0:17:44
40Eric Bierman (USA) Steven K Sports0:18:38
41Tom Obrien (USA)0:18:42
42Charles Jenkins (USA) KHS 650 Crew0:19:26
43Randall Jacobs (USA) Wheelworks Racing0:19:55

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kelli Emmett (USA) Giant MTB Team1:33:21
2Lene Byberg (Nor)0:00:02
3Pua Sawicki (USA) Okole Stuff.com0:00:52
4Allison Mann (USA) Rock N Road Cyclery0:03:32
5Heather Irmiger (USA) Subaru-Gary Fisher0:04:32
6Amber Neben (USA)0:06:16
7Chloe Forsman (USA) Tokyo Joes0:07:08
8Krista Park (USA) Incycle/Cannondale0:08:42
9Anna Fortner (USA) Socal Cross-Cicle0:17:58
10Kay Sherwood (USA) Tokyo Joes0:23:22
DNFRebecca Tomaszewski (USA) Niner/Ergon


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