Keegan Swenson's World Cup Blog
Top U.S. U-23 rider Keegan Swenson is living in Europe this summer
focusing all his energy on racing the world cup. Rooming with his Cannondale
teammate and #1 competition, Anton Cooper, Keegan is preparing himself for a long
summer of European mountain bike competition. Along the way he’ll be checking
in with MTB Race News to keep everyone up to date on his progress. Read Keegan’s
blog post below.
This spring/summer I’ll be living in Esslingen, Germany with
my teammate Anton. I have been over here for a couple weeks already, and have
really been enjoying it. We are staying sort of downtown, which is nice because
there is a grocery store and three cafes all within a 5-minute walk. Always
gotta stay caffeinated, right?! We are also quite close to the forest, which
has a ton of fun trails and logging roads to ride on.
The first weekend I was here we raced Heubach, which is about a 30min drive
from Esslingen. That was nice considering all the travel I had already done. We
went to pre-ride the course on Saturday and raced on Sunday. It was a pretty
fun track, with a fast and ripping downhill…and a ton of climbing. I ended up 5th in the race, which I was
pretty happy about especially considering the jet lag. It was a good battle
with the Belgians and Anton, congrats to him for taking the win!
The next weekend we traveled to a race in Montichiari, Italy, which is about
600 kilometers away. We left early Saturday morning and made it to Italy as
fast we could. And of course when we got there it was raining….Another muddy
race! The course was pretty cool, it was basically right downtown on a small
hill, and there were sidewalks, stairs, and all sorts of things. Although I
didn’t have my best race there, it was still a lot of fun. Legs weren’t feeling
so good and I was struggling a bit in the mud as I tend to do my first real mud
race of the year. Always takes time to get used to it again after racing in the
hot, dry and dusty west coast!!
We also raced in Italy again this past weekend, in Chies D’Alpagao. I was
pretty excited because Italy is awesome…great food, good espresso, and also
good racing. And this weekend was no less. The course was super fast with lots
of climbing and very spectator friendly. Think of it as a cyclocross course
with big climbs….
I had kind of a rough start this race cause I got kind of boxed out and
couldn’t get up to the front before we hit the dirt. So I spent the first
couple laps making my way up as far as I could. With a few laps to go Stefan
told me I was in 16th (uci points end at 15th…). So that gave me a bit of
motivation to work up a few more positions, which put me into 13th. I was
pretty happy with my race, legs felt good and was able to grab some points in
This weekend coming is the first round of the World Cup, which is in Albstadt,
Germany! Only about 1.5 hours away from where I’m staying. Anton and I went up
and did a few laps on the track this weekend and its nice…some steep and
"longish” climbs, as well as some really fun downhill. I’m excited to do some
racing on it this weekend! Bring on the World Cup!