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Plaxton solos to cross country win

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Max Plaxton (Specialized) rolls in for the victory

Max Plaxton (Specialized) rolls in for the victory
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) was quite pleased with his second place effort

Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) was quite pleased with his second place effort
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Traffic jam on the first climb of the day

Traffic jam on the first climb of the day
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Todd Wells (Specialized) and Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) vie for the early lead

Todd Wells (Specialized) and Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) vie for the early lead
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis) leads a select group out onto the third lap

Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis) leads a select group out onto the third lap
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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The lead group rides the twisty descent into the valley

The lead group rides the twisty descent into the valley
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Chasers try unsuccessfully to reel in Max Plaxton (Specialized)

Chasers try unsuccessfully to reel in Max Plaxton (Specialized)
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jack Hinkens (BMC) stares down an upcoming descent

Jack Hinkens (BMC) stares down an upcoming descent
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Cycling Legend Ned Overend (Specialized)

Cycling Legend Ned Overend (Specialized)
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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A Topeak Ergon rider passes by some spring flowers

A Topeak Ergon rider passes by some spring flowers
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Max Plaxton (Specialized) hammers up the mountain on his last lap

Max Plaxton (Specialized) hammers up the mountain on his last lap
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek), Todd Wells (Specialized), and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Trek) on their way up to the summit

Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek), Todd Wells (Specialized), and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Trek) on their way up to the summit
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Some of the climbs today were brutally difficult

Some of the climbs today were brutally difficult
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jessie Anthony (Kelly Benefit) seems to have the Fontana mountains all to himself

Jessie Anthony (Kelly Benefit) seems to have the Fontana mountains all to himself
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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The elite men are off for the cross country at the US Pro XCT.

The elite men are off for the cross country at the US Pro XCT.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Todd Wells (Specialized) heads out for his last lap

Todd Wells (Specialized) heads out for his last lap
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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US National Champion Todd Wells (Specialized)

US National Champion Todd Wells (Specialized)
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Max Plaxton (Specialized)

Max Plaxton (Specialized)
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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The start of the elite men's race at the US Pro XCT in Fontana

The start of the elite men's race at the US Pro XCT in Fontana
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Todd Wells (Specialized) got the early lead

Todd Wells (Specialized) got the early lead
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) led the racers up the steepest climb on lap two

Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) led the racers up the steepest climb on lap two
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis) has won four out of the five previous Fontana races

Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis) has won four out of the five previous Fontana races
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Spencer Paxson (Kona) on a big descent

Spencer Paxson (Kona) on a big descent
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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TJ Woodruff (Trek Boulder) smokes a descent

TJ Woodruff (Trek Boulder) smokes a descent
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Roadie/Cyclo-crosser Jessie Anthony (Kelly) rides to the top 20 finish

Roadie/Cyclo-crosser Jessie Anthony (Kelly) rides to the top 20 finish
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Max Plaxton (Specialized) with a 20-second lead over Bishop

Max Plaxton (Specialized) with a 20-second lead over Bishop
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) rides the slickrock

Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) rides the slickrock
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Sam Schultz (Trek Subaru) with Todd Wells bearing down on him

Sam Schultz (Trek Subaru) with Todd Wells bearing down on him
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Max Plaxton (Specialized) on the high plateau with nobody in sight behind him

Max Plaxton (Specialized) on the high plateau with nobody in sight behind him
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Max Plaxton (Specialized) enjoys his first win of the year

Max Plaxton (Specialized) enjoys his first win of the year
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)

Max Plaxton (Specialized) faced down the toughest climb on the US Pro XCT circuit and proved he deserved the win at round two in Fontana, California. A resurgent Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) was second, but could not quite hang on to Plaxton's wheel. Sam Schultz (Trek-Subaru) nailed down third place.

USA Champion Todd Wells (Specialized), respecting the fact that his teammate Plaxton was up the road, settled for fourth place. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Trek) rounded out the podium with a strong fifth place ride.

The new course at Fontana proved to be much more difficult than in past years. The climb up the mountain was made twice as long. Riders were calling it "The Beast" while the race announcer called it "Hurl Hill". Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis) and Bishop took early turns on leading up the mountain, but Plaxton launced a third-lap attack that left the other contenders scratching their heads in amazement.

"I'm just trying to find my pacing," said Plaxton. "Other years I've gone out hard and faded the last couple laps. Now I'm trying to make my last couple of laps strong. Today I just punched it near the top of the climb on the third lap."

Bishop gave kudos to Plaxton "Max was definitely really strong. He came around me right at the top. He was riding full suspension. I was riding a hardtail. He definitely had the course dialed. He was the fastest on the descents - flowing and saving a lot of energy. I was glad that I pulled together a clean race and salvaged a great result."

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Max Plaxton (Can) Specialized1:48:32
2Jeremiah Bishop (USA) Cannondale0:01:33
3Samuel Schultz (USA) Subaru-Trek0:02:01
4Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Racing0:02:18
5Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Trek0:02:26
6Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain0:05:32
7Sid Taberlay (Aus) Kenda/H2O Overdrive0:05:43
8Derek Zandstra (Can)0:06:01
9Rotem Ishai (Isr) Jamis0:06:23
10Adam Craig (USA) Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team0:07:16
11Raphael Gagne (Can) Rocky Mountain0:08:10
12Stephen Ettinger (USA) BMC Development0:08:23
13Spencer Paxson (USA) Kona0:08:52
14Adam Morka (Can)0:09:14
15Peter Glassford (Can)0:09:48
16Ryan Woodall (USA)0:11:12
17Travis Woodruff (USA)0:11:25
18Troy Wells (USA)0:12:04
19Jesse Anthony (USA)0:12:35
20Miguel Valdez (Mex)0:12:56
21Bryson Perry (USA)0:13:03
22Antoine Caron (Can)0:13:07
23Kevin Fish (USA)0:14:11
24Francis Morin (Can) BH-Suntour-Peisey Vallandry0:14:33
25Vincent Lombardi0:14:36
26Kalan Beisel (USA)0:14:40
27Benjamin Bostrom (USA)0:14:47
28Tyson Wagler (Can)
29Sean Donovan (USA)0:14:56
30Adam Snyder (USA)0:15:51
31Marton Blazso (Hun)0:15:54
32Aaron Bradford (USA)0:16:08
33Kevin Smallman (USA)0:16:11
34Jack Hinkens (USA)0:16:40
35Tim Allen (USA)0:17:02
36Ken Onodera (Jpn)0:17:37
37Jason Siegle (USA)0:17:40
38Jim Hewett (USA)0:17:42
39Colin Osborn (USA)0:17:46
40Ned Overend (USA)0:17:48
41Marcus Hayward (USA)0:18:10
42Zachary Valdez (USA)0:18:22
43Yuki Ikeda (Jpn)0:18:38
44Brad Bingham (USA)0:19:17
45Brent Steinberg (USA)0:19:44
46Bryan Fawley (USA)0:20:00
47Dana Weber (USA)0:20:06
48Zachary Keller (USA)0:20:13
49Clinton Claassen (USA)0:20:31
50Jeff Herrera (USA)0:20:51
51Cody Kaiser (USA)0:21:50
52Brandon Draugelis (USA)0:21:56
53Gregory Carpenter (USA)0:22:08
54Braden Kappius (USA)0:23:22
55Nate Whitman (USA)0:23:47
56John Nobil (USA)0:24:25
57Ryan Atkins (Can)0:25:03
58Will Curtis (USA)0:25:07
59Franklin Macky (USA)0:27:18
60Michael Mooradian (USA)0:29:06
61Graham Aldredge (USA)0:29:40
62Bradley Johnson (USA)0:30:18
63Charles Jenkins (USA)
64Kerry Werner (USA)
65Alex Boone (USA)
66Brad Wilhelm (USA)
67Matthew Cochran (USA)
68Nicholas Weighall (USA)
69Keisuke Goda (Jpn)
70Will Patterson (USA)
71Riley Predum (USA)
72Matthew Paziuk (Can)
73Hal Helbock (USA)
74Ben Jones (USA)
75Sean Ahmadi (USA)
76Matthew Connors (USA)
77Chris Heinrich (USA)
78Chris Suter (USA)
79Derek Herman (USA)
80Rich Weis (USA)
81Kendal Johnson (USA)
DNFChris Hurst (USA)
DNFPaul Freiwald (USA)
DNFRobert Herber (USA)
DNFAndy Schultz (USA)
DNFMenso De Jong (USA)
DNFBarry Wicks (USA)
DNFKris Sneddon (Can)
DNFRussell Finsterwald (USA)
DNFOsan Poshard (USA)
DNFMitchell Peterson (USA)
DNFEric Batty (Can)

 

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