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Keegan Swenson's Blog From Offenburg, Germany

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |June 7, 2011 2:27 AM

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. He recently traveled to Offenburg, Germany, to race the world cup event there with Team USA. Read Keegan's report below.

After pre riding this course I was extremely excited to race! There were super fast S-turns and plenty of roots and drops. And I had never ridden any course this fun. The majority of the track was wide "singletrack” with plenty of passing room. Although there was one asphalt climb and two (tech/feed) sections on a gravel road on this 5.1-kilometer loop.

I was pretty nervous coming into this race because I had no idea what to expect with 125 other very fast juniors lining up to race. I got called up in about the 3rd or 4th row, which was an awesome spot to start. When the gun went off it was just a frantic sprint for the first corner, and I slipped my pedal or something and was passed by a lot of racers. I am not quite sure but I was probably back in 40th or something like that going into the first real lap.

On the asphalt climb I was able to gain back a ton of places pretty quick and could see the lead group a ways ahead going into the singletrack. Then after descending "Duel Speed Drop’ which is like 5 drops in a row and was super fun, we approached another climb through some roots and the next thing I knew I was on my face in the roots!

I’m pretty sure a kid tried to pass me in a sketchy place and got tangled up in my bars or something…. but either way I had crashed and my chain was tangled up around by BB so I just ran that climb and tried to get my chain back on at the top.

By the time I got my chain back on I had lost a lot of spots and was back a long ways. The next two laps went all right and I passed a few guys and did not get passed. I wasn’t quite warmed up enough so I could really ride until the last lap and half (we got stuck in traffic!). On the last lap Marc [Gullickson] told me I was in 50th and that there was a group up a ways up the track. I buried myself to catch in to that next group, and It worked as I caught and passed them! Then I passed a few more racers going off "Wolfs Drop”, which is an extremely steep drop filled with a massive amount of roots. I ending up crossing line in 43rd about 10 seconds back from another group of racers.

Lesson of day: Be more aggressive and don’t get pushed around. And pass whenever possible.

Good job to the other USA guys out there killing it. 

 

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