Junior National Champion Keegan Swenson’s
Blog – World Championships
After a long day of travel I had made it to Stuttgart,
Germany to begin my trip for Worlds, in Saafelden, Austria. I headed over there
a little early so I could do the XC race in Albstadt to help prepare for worlds
the following weekend, as well as just get used to the 8 hour time change. On
Friday we went to Eurobike for a few hours which was pretty cool, I could not
believe how huge it was, and how big the bicycle industry really is! Crazzy!
Saturday morning Marco and I headed to Albstadt to get a lap on the course
before the race. It was mess. It was ridiculously muddy! I did one lap and then
decided to change tires, they did a
little but the mud was so thick I don’t think it even mattered. I had the whole
course pretty much dialed except one slippery, muddy death shoot. While pre riding
I slapped the hay at the bottom…So I decided I was just going to run/slide/walk
down it during the race. I didn’t feel like breaking myself the week before
worlds. After an early wakeup and plenty of espresso I was ready to race. I got
myself warmed up and then lined up at the start. It started off fast as always,
but I was able to make my way to the front, I stay there till the top of the
climb then lost a few spots on the DH. I was riding the struggle bus, that’s
for sure. I also didn’t feel so hot on the climbs so I decided just to ride the
rest of the race and be careful not to kill myself. I think I ended up around
16th in the end. My poor Flash was pretty beat after all the mud and
power washing…thank you Giac for making it race ready again!!
After a fun day of shredding awesome
trails in Stuttgart, we headed off the Austria the next day. It was a little
bit of a drive, about 4 hours. I was able to get a few laps on the course after
we arrived. I liked it. Really fast with some short steep descents. Which
happened to be quite slippery when wet..
Thursday I raced the team relay with my 3 teammates
Russell, Lea and Todd. I went second. It was HARD! Just one lap as fast as you
could do it. The death shoot was really slippery as well, I decided just to run
down it and be safe. In the end we were 7th, pretty solid.
Friday morning I went out for a little spin on the course and few openers for
XC the next day. The course was drying out which made the slippery section only
a little slippery and I was able to ride it about half the time, the other half
hitting the pads at bottom.
RACEDAY! I jumped on the rollers for a while and got the legs going then headed
over for the start. The gun went off and missed my pedal… twice in a row…I
think I was just nervous and jumped to hard, thus missing my pedal. I don’t
know where I was, about mid pack maybe? So I had a go all out on my start loop
to get into the top 10. Once up there I just tried to ride smart and slowly
made my way up to the front. After some chasing, I caught the French guy in 5thright after the feed zone and attacked him on the road climb. I was able to get
a small gap and hold it off to the finish! Well that’s it, season is pretty
much done! Way stoked to be able to finish it off in a good way. Congrats to
Anton for the win, you are an animal. Now time to move on to U23!!
Oh and the next day I did the Sprint Eliminator, which was a 500m loop all
downtown. It was a fun track, with a bunch of stairs and turns. I gave it all I had for about 2min but it
wasn’t enough. I was ELIMINATED! Next year….it was a lot of fun though. Can’t
wait to do more of them next season.
you to my parents, coach, Cannondale Factory Racing, USA Cycling and everyone
else that helped me this season! It was a good one. Now lets race some cross!