Keegan Swenson's World Cup Blog & Video - Italy
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.
After a couple weeks at my home away from home in Esslingen
we headed to Italy for the Val di Sole World Cup, as well as a race in
Vermiglio Italy. The race in Vermiglio was only about 10k away from Val di Sole,
which was nice because it kept the travel to a minimum before the world cup. We
arrived in Italy the day before the Vermiglio race and were able to get a
couple laps on the course before it started to rain and get dark…it was a hard
track with a steep long climb, off camber grass sections and a long slippery
decent. I started a ways back, but was able to move up around the top 15 before
the singletrack. After the first lap I realized my legs weren’t feeling that
good, so I just tried to do the best I could with what I had. I crossed the
finish around 45th, tough day on the bike…but it happens.
The following day I did a nice recovery ride on the bike
path that runs through Val d sole. It is a really nice valley! Huge
mountains….and lots of cool little towns. We are in the same region as the
famous Giro d Italia climb, the Gavia. Bummed I didn’t get a chance to ride it!
Maybe next time… On Tuesday I headed out on the course for a few laps, one of
getting lost and 4 other real ones. It was not 100% marked at the time and was
really confusing! Lots of turns!! Also a lot of really steep climbs….I decided
to run a 32t chain ring on the front, which was a good call because even that
was hardly enough at times. But I was excited to race because it was a fun
course, and seemed to suit me pretty well.
We started at 4:30pm on Saturday, which was a little later
then normal. I did a little spin in the morning to open the legs up a bit, and
then got ready for the race. My call up was a little better then last time, at
57th so I was stoked about that. I had a decent start and was able
to move up a little on the start lap, and did not have any crashes, which is
always good…I was feeling pretty good for the first few laps but then just lost
it on the last lap…Could have been dropping my water bottle on the 5thlap as it was really hot…or many other things. But overall it was an okay race,
I finished in 36th, so we are moving in the right direction! Hope I
can improve on that result in the next world cup! Now its time to go home and
recharge for the second half of the season.