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Top American junior, Keegan Swenson's Pan Am Champs Report

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |April 24, 2012 3:15 AM
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Cannondale junior rider Keegan Swenson checks in from his trip to the Continental (Pan Am) Championships in Puebla, Mexico. Keegan traveled to Puebla as part of Team USA. Read his full story below.


Continental Champs

After landing in Mexico City and a few U-turns later, we had finally made it to Puebla, home of the Continental Mountain Bike Championships this year. We drove around town for a while trying to find a safe and open restaurant…not an easy thing to do at 10pm. But eventually we did. We then got to our room. It was an interesting set up to say the least. All of us in there together... Good team bonding I suppose!

On Friday we went up for a few laps on the course. It was pretty cool being able to pre-ride with Todd Wells!  He showed me some fast and creative lines. The course was pretty hilly with a couple rocky, dusty downhills, as well as being at 7400 feet! So I thought it suited me pretty well.
Then race day came. Bernard drove me up there a couple hours before because I wanted a solid warm up. After warming up they then called us up for our race, I was 2nd row. Not bad. After the first corner I had made my way up to 3rd place and rode there for a bit. I then attacked on the climb. I had a pretty sizable gap, and then I sort of blew up... I think that the heat got to me, it was HOT! I just felt like I was dead. Then I came back around and worked my way back up there but couldn't quite close the gap to the Colombian.

On the third lap I mistook a bottle of coke for water and dumped it on my head needing some relief from the heat... I didn’t quite hear Tom (our mechanic) when he handed me the bottle. Either way, it cooled me down I was just a sticky mess. So I learned my lesson there…Always make sure it is water you are dumping on your head and not coke or some other liquid.
Thanks to Tom for keeping my bike running flawlessly. Thanks to Bernard and Marc for keeping me hydrated and cool during the race.

Congrats to Russell [Finsterwald] for winning the U-23s, Todd for winning elites and Grace winning the women’s juniors. USA had a great weekend!


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