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Junior National Champion Keegan Swenson's Blog

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |May 2, 2011 3:15 AM
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Park City Native and Whole Athlete/Specialized racer Keegan Swenson is the reigning 15-16 year-old national XC champion. This season is his first with the Whole Athlete squad and his first in the 17-18 category. Keegan will be representing his team and the United States throughout the 2011 season and he will be posting a weekly blog on MTBRaceNews.com.

Keegan is now 3 for 3 at Pro XCT events this season. Read about his recent win at the Sea Otter Classic in California.

Keegan:

This was my first trip ever to Sea Otter, and I was pretty excited to get down there and see what itís all about.

We got down to Laguna Seca on Wednesday, I got to explore the venue a little and it was pretty sweet. On Thursday, I got to pick up my new ENVE 29er XC wheels, which are so sweet and I was way stoked to race on them for the first time.

I then went and pre-road, the course wasn't bad. Lots of fast gravel roads, sand, some singletrack and quite a bit of climbing. And the legs didn't feel to bad, so that was a plus.

The race (on friday) started 1:30 pm, so we had a bunch of time to sleep in, eat and hydrate, which was nice for a change. After getting a solid warm up I got over to the start line with the rest of my Whole Athlete teammates.

The race started off super slow....as no one wanted to pull on the paved race track. There were a few crashes (luckily avoided!) Then eventually a fellow Utard (Noah Tally) went off the front and attacked, I jumped on his wheel.

We were the first ones to the dirt along with Tony and Max right on my wheel. I began to pour it on, on the first few rollers and opened up a small gap, which was nice going into the gnarly ruts. I could pick the fastest and safest line where everyone else had to follow wheels.

When I got to the singletrack I tried to just ride fast and smart. The singlespeeders were very nice about letting me pass on the descent (thanks guys!). Then after some more gravel road and singletrack there was another gnarly rut section that I forgot the line in and put my front wheel directly into the hub-deep rut, I road the stem for a few seconds then somehow made my way back onto the saddle and pedals.

That was scary. Then I came to the next major climb, I settled into a good rhythm and just kept on going. By then I was almost done with my bottle and was glad to be able to grab a fresh one from the feed zone a few miles down the road, thanks Dave!

I then made my way through the shady singletrack, which was a nice break from the sun and the wind. After some fun on the singletrack I approached the final climb to the top. The wind was crazy up on the ridge and I was getting blown all over the place, so I just tried to settle in and get through it.

Thankfully I got to the top and saw my buddy Nick Newcomb who gave me some "words of encouragement" to finish it off. Once at the very top it was just a matter of making it to the finish through some grassy turns!

It was great to stand on the podium with ONLY Whole Athlete- Specialized up there this time! Good job to all the Whole Athletes out there, everyone rode awesome. Also, thanks to Dario for putting together another super fun and successful trip! And Myron if your reading this....I will always have dental floss!

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