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Plaxton wrestles elite national championship from Kabush

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Max Plaxton (Specialized) finally dethroned seven-time men's champion Geoff Kabush

Max Plaxton (Specialized) finally dethroned seven-time men's champion Geoff Kabush
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Mitch Bailey (Team Ontario/Trek Canada) was 2nd

Mitch Bailey (Team Ontario/Trek Canada) was 2nd
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Leandre Bouchard (Équipe du Québec)

Leandre Bouchard (Équipe du Québec)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Jeremy Martin (Équipe du Québec/Rocky Mountain Factory) finished 3rd

Jeremy Martin (Équipe du Québec/Rocky Mountain Factory) finished 3rd
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Max Plaxton (Specialized Factory Team) at the front at the start

Max Plaxton (Specialized Factory Team) at the front at the start
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Peter Glassford (Trek Canada) finished seventh

Peter Glassford (Trek Canada) finished seventh
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Kris Sneddon (Kona) was 10th

Kris Sneddon (Kona) was 10th
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Neal Kindree (Riderepublic.com) has returned to competition after injury, finishing fourth

Neal Kindree (Riderepublic.com) has returned to competition after injury, finishing fourth
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Stefan Widmer (West Point Cycles) in eighth

Stefan Widmer (West Point Cycles) in eighth
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) was stopped on his record eighth attempt at a national championship

Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) was stopped on his record eighth attempt at a national championship
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Derek Zandstra (3 Rox Racing) finished third

Derek Zandstra (3 Rox Racing) finished third
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Adam Morka (Team Ontario/Trek Canada) took a career-high fifth

Adam Morka (Team Ontario/Trek Canada) took a career-high fifth
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Max Plaxton (Specialized Factory Team) has been been chasing the title for a long time

Max Plaxton (Specialized Factory Team) has been been chasing the title for a long time
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain)

Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain)
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Max Plaxton (Specialized) had time to greet friends before crossing the finish line

Max Plaxton (Specialized) had time to greet friends before crossing the finish line
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Max Plaxton (Specialized Factory Team) wins

Max Plaxton (Specialized Factory Team) wins
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Under 23 men's podium: Mitch Bailey, Leandre Bouchard, Jeremy Martin

Under 23 men's podium: Mitch Bailey, Leandre Bouchard, Jeremy Martin
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Elite men's podium: Geoff Kabush, Max Plaxton, Derek Zandstra

Elite men's podium: Geoff Kabush, Max Plaxton, Derek Zandstra
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)

After six consecutive years, Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) has finally be dethroned as the Canadian elite men's cross country champion. Max Plaxton (Specialized), who has been pursuing this title for all of those years, took charge of the race early to record his first elite title.

Held in perfect conditions beneath the Three Sisters mountains in Kananaskis Country, the men's five lap, 35.5 kilometre race was expected to be a fight between Plaxton and Kabush. Plaxton has been inching closer to victory over the past few years, but the veteran Kabush has always managed to have something extra for the national championships. This year, Plaxton skipped the last two World Cups to training specifically for the national championships, and it paid off. He dropped Kabush on the second lap and steadily increased his lead over the remainder of the race to win by one minute and 41 seconds. Derek Zandstra (3 Rox Racing) finished third, three minutes and 22 seconds back.

"I've been chasing this a long time," admitted Plaxton. "I know it was a bit risky not doing the World Cups, but I also know my body pretty well, and this was the better choice for me. We were just sort of feeling each other out on the first lap, and then I attacked on the second lap and got maybe 20 seconds. Geoff held me there for a while, but then I pushed it on the fourth lap and was able to open it up. I'm super happy right now, this is probably the biggest result of my career."

Kabush was clearly disappointed with losing the title. "I knew that Max would be strong, but I have had good form the past few weeks, so I thought I had a good chance. He got a small gap on me in the second lap, and I was able to keep it to 18-20 seconds for the next couple of laps. But clearly he had more left in the tank than me and opened it up on the fourth lap."

Leandre Bouchard (Equipe Quebec) took the U23 men's title, after a tough race-long battle with Mitch Bailey (Team Ontario) and Evan McNeely (Team Ontario). Bouchard dropped everyone but Bailey by mid-race, and then attacked to leave Bailey behind on the final lap. McNeely faded to finish fifth, while Jeremy Martin (Equipe Quebec) moved up to take the bronze medal. In earlier morning races, Marc-Antoine Nadon (3 Rox Racing) scorched the Junior men's field to lead from start to finish and Marc-Andre Fortier (Sarto Gagne) won the U17 men's title.

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Max Plaxton (Specialized Factory Team)1:38:28
2Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain)0:01:42
3Derek Zandstra (3 Rox Racing)0:03:23
4Neal Kindree (Riderepublic.com/SRAM/Chromag)0:04:40
5Adam Morka (Team Ontario/Trek Canada)0:05:39
6Matthew Hadley (Xprezo-Borsao)0:06:07
7Peter Glassford (Trek Canada)0:06:50
8Stefan Widmer (West Point Cycles)0:07:14
9Andrew Watson (Norco Factory Team)0:07:43
10Kris Sneddon (KONA)0:08:23
11Craig Richey (CyclocrossRacing.com p/b Blue)
12Cory Wallace (KONA)0:10:29
13Félix Côté (Espresso Sports)0:12:31
14Graham Torrie (Team Alberta)0:12:56
15Cameron Jette (3 Rox Racing)0:13:31
16Ryan Atkins (Kunstadt Sports Cycling Club)0:14:30
17David Gonda (Cyclemeisters/Bow Cycle)0:15:39
18Jamie Lamb (Garneau Club Chaussure Norton Rose)0:16:07
19Drew Mackenzie (Condo Group/Shimano/Marin)0:17:42
-1LapGordon Jewett (RMCC Express)
-1LapRaphaël Gagné (Équipe Québec/Rocky Mountain Factory)
-1LapMatthew Krahn (Redbike)
-1LapJon Kinsie (Lapierre Canada)
-1LapLeni Trudel (Garneau Club Chaussure Norton Rose)
-1LapMarty Lazarski (Nativo Concept/Devinci)
-1LapEric Batty (Trek Canada)
-2LapsJamie Wagler (Two Wheel Express)
-2LapsDylan Harris (Olympia Cycle)
DNFRoddi Lega (Team Alberta/Pedalhead)
DNFMarc-André Daigle (Garneau Club Chaussure Norton Rose)
DNFShawn Bunnin (ATB Financial)
DNFBrian Cooke (Cafe Racers)
DNFJonathon Firth (Honey Stinger/Cafe Racers/Norco Grass Roots)
DNFThomas Skinner (Oak Bay Bicycles/Rocky Mountain)

U23 Men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Leandre Bouchard (Équipe du Québec)1:23:43
2Mitch Bailey (Team Ontario/Trek Canada)0:00:38
3Jeremy Martin (Équipe du Québec/Rocky Mountain Factory)0:01:41
4Evan Guthrie (Team Cycling BC/Rocky Mountain Factory)0:02:09
5Evan Mcneely (Team Ontario/EMD Serono/Specialized)0:02:59
6Antoine Caron (Équipe du Québec/CVM Subway)0:03:07
7Zachary Hughes (Norco Factory Team)0:05:34
8Jean-Philippe Thibault-Roberge (CVM Val-David)0:07:21
9Jared Stafford (Team Ontario/Norco Factory Team)0:07:22
10Tyson Wagler (3 Rox Racing)0:08:09
11Xavier Perreault (CVM Val-David)0:08:10
12Steven Noble (Team Ontario/Opus-OGC)0:10:59
13Andrew L'esperance (Norco Factory Team)0:11:22
14Etienne Moreau (EMD Serono/Specialized CC)0:12:14
15Alex Lavertu (CVM Val-David)0:12:25
16Jesse Melamed (Team Whistler)0:12:39
17Simon Wagler (Two Wheel Express)0:14:30
18Preston Wagler (3 Rox Racing)0:15:57
19Sebastien Cadieux-Duval (Équipe du Québec)0:16:41
20Michael Van Den Ham (Team Manitoba/United Cycle)0:17:25
-1LapEmmanuel Boily (CVM Val-David)
-1LapStephen Cooley (Team Saskatchewan)
-1LapTroy Henry (Cyclemeisters/Bow Cycle)
-1LapPeter Knight (Team Alberta)
DNFSimon Lalancette (Équipe du Québec/DeVinci)
DNFPierre-Louis Chamberland (CVM Val-David)
DNFPatrick Chartrand (Équipe du Québec)
DNFPaul Benson (Alter Ego Sports)

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