Skip to main content

Plaxton blazes to victory with last lap surge

Image 1 of 28

Max Plaxton (Specialized) intent on catching his team-mate Wells

Max Plaxton (Specialized) intent on catching his team-mate Wells
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 2 of 28

Many riders including Adam Craig (Giant Rabobank) came to the starting line wearing ice vests.

Many riders including Adam Craig (Giant Rabobank) came to the starting line wearing ice vests.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 3 of 28

Riders enjoying some very twisty singletrack

Riders enjoying some very twisty singletrack
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 4 of 28

Sid Taberlay (H2O Overdrive) descending with the leaders on lap one

Sid Taberlay (H2O Overdrive) descending with the leaders on lap one
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 5 of 28

Chasers formed groups and settled in

Chasers formed groups and settled in
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 6 of 28

Todd Wells (Specialized) leading through the tall grass on Armstrong

Todd Wells (Specialized) leading through the tall grass on Armstrong
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 7 of 28

Sid Taberlay (H2O Overdrive) and Sam Schutlz (Trek Subaru) about a minute off the pace of the leaders

Sid Taberlay (H2O Overdrive) and Sam Schutlz (Trek Subaru) about a minute off the pace of the leaders
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 8 of 28

Todd Wells (Specialized) alone

Todd Wells (Specialized) alone
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 9 of 28

Todd Wells (Specialized) on the final climb of the 7-mile course

Todd Wells (Specialized) on the final climb of the 7-mile course
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 10 of 28

Stephen Ettinger (BMC) is putting together consistently good races this season

Stephen Ettinger (BMC) is putting together consistently good races this season
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 11 of 28

Russell Finsterwald (Trek Subaru) riding in some of the limited shade on the course

Russell Finsterwald (Trek Subaru) riding in some of the limited shade on the course
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 12 of 28

Riders making their way through some tight forest

Riders making their way through some tight forest
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 13 of 28

A rider makes his way through some mesquite trees

A rider makes his way through some mesquite trees
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 14 of 28

Max Plaxton (Specialized) in pursuit of Taberlay and Wells

Max Plaxton (Specialized) in pursuit of Taberlay and Wells
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 15 of 28

Sid Taberlay (H2O Overdrive) leading on lap one

Sid Taberlay (H2O Overdrive) leading on lap one
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 16 of 28

Max Plaxton (Specialized) is hoping to repeat his 2010 victory

Max Plaxton (Specialized) is hoping to repeat his 2010 victory
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 17 of 28

Todd Wells (Specialized), Sam Schultz (Trek Subaru), and Max Plaxton (Specialized) riding the Texas hills

Todd Wells (Specialized), Sam Schultz (Trek Subaru), and Max Plaxton (Specialized) riding the Texas hills
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 18 of 28

Ignacio Torres (Turbo Bike) rode a brilliant race

Ignacio Torres (Turbo Bike) rode a brilliant race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 19 of 28

Todd Wells (Specialized) descending through the trees with a small lead

Todd Wells (Specialized) descending through the trees with a small lead
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 20 of 28

Max Plaxton (Specialized) bridging back up to Wells

Max Plaxton (Specialized) bridging back up to Wells
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 21 of 28

Ryan Woodall riding in fourth position

Ryan Woodall riding in fourth position
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 22 of 28

Ignacio Torres (Turbo Bike) had quite a battle with Stephen Ettinger (BMC)

Ignacio Torres (Turbo Bike) had quite a battle with Stephen Ettinger (BMC)
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 23 of 28

Jason Sager (Team Jamis) riding in the top six riders

Jason Sager (Team Jamis) riding in the top six riders
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 24 of 28

Spencer Paxton (Kona) flying down a descent

Spencer Paxton (Kona) flying down a descent
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 25 of 28

Justine Lindine (Bike Reg) riding some tight downhill singletrack

Justine Lindine (Bike Reg) riding some tight downhill singletrack
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 26 of 28

Nick Weighall (Cal Giant Berry)

Nick Weighall (Cal Giant Berry)
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 27 of 28

The elite men at the start of the US Pro XCT #4 at the Mellow Johnny's Classic

The elite men at the start of the US Pro XCT #4 at the Mellow Johnny's Classic
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
Image 28 of 28

Sid Taberlay (H2O Overdrive) seemed to be affected by the heat on the last couple laps

Sid Taberlay (H2O Overdrive) seemed to be affected by the heat on the last couple laps
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)

Max Plaxton (Specialized) rode to victory at the fourth round of the US Pro XCT on Saturday afternoon at the Mellow Johnny's Classic near Austin, Texas. Plaxton blazed to victory after a last lap surge to get past his teammate Todd Wells. The two are becoming quite accustomed to battling each other for wins this season.

Plaxton's victory comes after a week off racing in contrast to Wells, who spent the weekend since the Sea Otter Classic, which he won, travelling to and from and racing in South Africa for the opening World Cup.

Sam Schultz (Subaru Trek) took third place in his best finish of the year. Ryan Woodhall (Brick City Bicycles) gave Schultz quite a scare but had to settle for fourth. Mexico's Ignacio Torres (Team Turbo) rode impressively to grab the last spot on the podium.

Unlike the women's race earlier in the morning, nearly all of the top cross country racers in North America (with the exception of Geoff Kabush and Jeremiah Bishop) seemed to be at the starting line. Plaxton entered the race as the US Pro XCT series leader and padded his lead today.

The heat and humidity was a major factor in the race, but perhaps a tad less so than last year. Temperatures hovered around 90 degrees Fahrenheit by mid-day, so many of the racers came to the starting line wearing ice vests. In addition, the Mellow Johnny's race organizers had the foresight to place a "cooling tent" at the finish line that was stocked with ice and liquids.

Schultz, who is from Montana, said after the race, "I feel like I just came out of a volcano. It got really hot. The first lap I was trying to stick with Wells but he kind of put the hammer down. I couldn't play that game in the heat, so I just mellowed it out."

Taberlay (H2O Overdrive) led most of the first lap with all of the main contenders stuck to his wheel but seemed to run out of gas as the race progressed. Adam Craig (Giant Rabobank) suffered a first lap flat tire and found himself playing catch-up again.

Plaxton appeared to ride a smart race, letting others set the early pace. "The first couple laps seemed kind of hard, but mid-race I settled in and started coming on strong, but if I am going to Europe, I am going to have to work on my starts," said Plaxton.

"I let Todd push the pace at the start and just kind of sat on Sid (Taberlay) and Sam (Schultz). But when Todd got that gap, I knew I couldn't wait too long to catch him. When I got on my own I found that I was riding that stuff faster than anyone."

It seemed to take quite a while for Plaxton to close down the gap to his teammate. "I took my time to catch up with Todd. I hovered for a while at about five seconds. Starting the last lap, I went to the front and just rode the trail as fast as I could."

Schultz complimented Woodall's race. The two were locked in heated battle and Schultz admitted that Woodall was out-descending him. "He rode like two men today," said Schultz at the finish line.

Lance Armstrong, who owns the ranch where the race was held, was not at the race due to other commitments. However, he is expected to be on hand for the amateur races on Sunday.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Max Plaxton (Can) Specialized1:33:15
2Todd Wells (USA) Specialized0:01:25
3Samuel Schultz (USA) Subaru-Trek0:02:19
4Ryan Woodall (USA) Brick City Bicycles0:02:34
5Ignacio Torres Acosta (Mex) Turbo Bike Team0:03:16
6Spencer Paxson (USA) Kona0:03:28
7Stephen Ettinger (USA) BMC Development Team0:03:59
8Jason Sager (USA) Team Jamis0:04:05
9Mitchell Hoke (USA) Tokyo Joe's0:04:09
10Dana Weber (USA) Trek Co-op0:04:10
11Justin Lindine (USA)0:04:28
12Drew Edsall (USA)0:06:42
13Seamus Powell (USA)0:07:34
14Sid Taberlay (Aus) H20/Overdrive0:08:32
15Kerry Werner (USA) BMC Development Team0:08:54
16Rotem Ishai (Isr) Jamis0:09:05
17Juan Carlos Hernandez Fernandez (Mex)0:09:16
18Alejandro Barajas Vega (Mex)0:09:41
19Matt Gordon (USA)0:10:43
20Bryan Fawley (USA)0:12:01
21Rick Wetherald (USA)0:12:26
22Blake Harlan (USA)0:12:36
23John Nobil (USA)0:13:12
24Troy Wells (USA)0:13:31
25Zachary Valdez (USA)0:13:52
26Brandon Draugelis (USA)0:13:53
27Jorge Muñoz (Mex)0:13:54
28Cody Kaiser (USA)0:14:45
29Russell Finsterwald (USA) Subaru-Trek0:14:54
30Aaron Elwell (USA)0:15:00
31Jason Siegle (USA)0:15:26
32Lucas Brusseau (USA)0:15:31
33Martin Cox (USA)0:16:35
34Jason Young (USA)0:16:40
35John Rines (USA)0:17:15
36Craig Wohlschlaeger (USA)0:17:30
37Anthony Sinyard (USA)0:18:00
38Graham Aldredge (USA)0:18:10
39Wiley Mosley (USA)0:18:28
40David Hanes (USA)0:18:41
41Hadji Corona Gonzalez (Mex)0:18:45
42Thomas Sampson (USA)0:19:02
43Katriel Statman (USA)0:20:39
44Ernie Watenpaugh (USA)0:21:08
45Jack Hinkens (USA)0:21:12
46Jordan Kahlenberg (USA)0:24:03
47Colin Osborn (USA)0:25:44
48Keith Hargis (USA)0:40:02
49Craig Kunz (USA)0:40:13
50Chris Drummond (USA)0:40:44
51Rich Weis (USA)0:40:58
52Nevada Thomason (USA)0:41:53
DNFJoshua Carlson (Aus)
DNFAdam Craig (USA) Rabobank-Giant
DNFWill Curtis (USA)
DNFKevin Fish (USA)
DNFCalle Friberg (Swe)
DNFSteve Kidd (USA)
DNFMark Orton (USA)
DNFOsan Poshard (USA)
DNFJoshua Rosby (USA)
DNFSean Ahmadi (USA)
DNFTristen Uhl (USA)
DNFNicholas Weighall (USA)
DNSJeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Trek
DNSEmmanuel Valencia (Mex)

Latest on Cyclingnews