Keegan at road worlds? Thats sad

You guys crack me up. A 28 year old mtb racer from the US gets a chance to race at road worlds and finishes in the top 75 men in the world, and you think that’s a bad performance. I don’t know what you were expecting, but I think he more than met most of our expectation. What an incredible experience and memory.


Agreed! He finished with/ahead of plenty of standout “successful” road racers - I think given the scenario, that’s an incredible performance and I’d call it a successful debut.


Road racing isn’t time trialing. Most riders besides the team favorite are workers. They sacrifice their race to put their leader into position. Any placing outside of the medals or pack sprint doesn’t really mean anything in road racing because they usually stop racing after they finish their job.


I wouldn’t call it a bad performance, but at the same time I wouldn’t call it a good performance or anything to write home about. Not something that I would take a second look at. It was pretty much what I expected to be honest. Sit in and finish in a pack off the lead. Nothing special, but not a bad performance for his first big road race at this level.

And I wouldn’t really compare it to other pros that finished further down like Soler. Soler was in the front split and tried to make things happen and made a move. It didn’t work out and they got caught. But to say, “look he beat Marc Soler” is missing the context of the race. After like 20th or maybe 30th place, everything after that is kind of meaningless. Not meaningless to say they should quit or anything like that, but like 48th vs 73rd vs 99th place feels like the same performance to me. Whereas to get a top 20 or 30 would have been a great race.

Now I’m not saying he couldn’t get on a team and get better and start getting results on the world tour. He looks to have the engine. I just don’t see him leaving the lucrative spot he has now to “start over” in a sense being a domestique. And his performance wasn’t out of this world special that teams would be lining up.


Literally no one is saying this. He got a call up to race at Worlds and he did his job and finished the race. He’s 28 years old. Are there really people saying he’s about to get a world tour contract? All we’re saying is don’t shit on the guy for getting a chance to go do something he can tell his grandchildren about. What an incredible opportunity that no one saw coming.

You wouldn’t call getting to race Worlds anything to write home about? People are so jaded.


Give the man some slack. I interpreted it as his performance wasn’t anything to write home about. The trip, the experience, watching MVDP being arrested at 4 AM in the morning (I kid!) is definitely something special.


Blame it on Remco, MvdP, and Wout. We want super human performances or get out.

Might want to recheck that. Between this thread and the other one, some people seem to think he’s going to be the next great American on the world tour. So you can blame those threads for people expecting him to do something great.

You obviously haven’t read through the threads. The hype train is real. Probably a little justified, or people just want to believe. Can’t say I blame them.

Not saying that at all. And it’s something that he can say that very, very few people in bike racing can ever say. I would be ecstatic to race the world champs. And I’m not saying he isn’t an amazing bike racer because he’s proven over and over he is. I’m saying that the hype he was getting in the various threads on here and the podcast, you would have thought he would be legitimately competing for a medal.


I never saw that, but I believe you. All I see is people saying he won’t/didn’t live up to the hype, but I never saw the hype. It feels like a manufactured controversy for no other reason than to rain on someone’s parade.


I second this. This thread and the larger thread suggest that Keegan was going to have an impact on the race and also get WT contract offers.

I think it’s huge that he raced and it is prob the biggest thing he has done in his career. However, I think people were completely delusional thinking he would have an impact at worlds. I think people just don’t understand the dynamics of road racing so their expectations were misguided


I just reread the whole thread and don’t see a single person saying he’s going to win or get a road pro contract or whatever. I do believe it may be elsewhere, but it’s not here. Thanks for explaining.

Anyway, I’m done. I’ve been consistent the whole thread. I don’t see any reason to rain on the man’s parade.


As you wrote above, the placings in these races are probably irrelevant outside the top 10-20. Look at a selection of the time-proven World Tour professionals who DNF’d - Luke Rowe, Taco van der Hoorn, Luke Plapp, Jan Hirt, Luke Durbridge. To suggest in any way that Swenson is better than these guys or even trying to extract a false dichotomy that he had a better day than them is really clutching at straws.

I said this in the other thread, but I hope Swenson wins a ton of races and makes loads of money to set himself up for the rest of his life, and the way to do that is to continue what he’s doing now, not get distracted with World Tour stuff unless he got a part-time contract with a US-based team to participate in North American races. He hasn’t done anything outside the US since he was a junior and the hyperbole on the podcast and on the forum about him is getting boring.

I understand that the podcast is always going to have a North American bias so let’s hear more from Matteo Jorgensen or some up-and-comers. Extend the network, let the Swenson fanboys get their fill a couple of times a year. I’ve been missing Alex Wild’s contributions.


Most if not all European CX racers race on the road in the spring and summer. Some on World Tour teams others on Pro Conti or 3rd div. teams. No offense to Keegan or any other very talented North American MTN bikers, but they don’t have the experience or the skills to race or survive in the European peloton period.


I can’t speak for others in all the various threads, but at least for me there is a difference between hope/speculation and expectation. I didn’t expect him to have an impact or to finish any better than what he did, but it was fun to speculate on how he could have an impact and hope for that scenario.

It is no different than any other sport where people are fans of a huge underdog. At a certain level, this is what makes competition universal enjoyed.


That was my point exactly. Results sheet is meaningless at a certain point. To take any of the names around or below Keegan and tell me they don’t have a chance of playing a factor in road races based on this one result is silly.

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Again, no one here said he could

Watching people interpret the Rorschach test of Keegan’s finish placing is kind of fascinating. People see the same result and some of them say, “See, I told you he couldn’t hack it at the world tour level!” And others say, “See, I told you he could!”

I think it eliminates the extreme perspectives. He won’t stroll right in and compete for prestigious world tour wins. But I also think it’s clear that the people who were like, “He couldn’t carry water bottles for the guys who carry water bottles on the world tour,” were also wrong. Plenty of other guys who are sometimes in the mix at world tour races finished around Keegan, not all of them did tons of work first, and they all have more experience on the road than he does.

Is he going to win Grand Tours or monuments? Almost certainly not. Could he carve out a career in the world tour as a guy who’s sometimes on domestique duty and sometimes gets the freedom to chase stages or one day races that are suited to him? Seems plausible. But, as others have pointed out, it would take a lot of work, and a huge lifestyle change, and a likely significant pay cut.

It doesn’t seem like he has the natural talent of guys like Pidcock, WvA, or MvdP, who can just jump back and forth between disciplines and stay at the very highest level of all of them. But I wonder if maybe he could carve out something more along the lines of what Lachlan Morton and Alex Howes had where he spends part of the year in Europe and part of the year racing the big gravel and endurance mtb races in the US. From an outside perspective, it seems like there might be value to sponsors to get U.S. gravel or mtb fan eyes on world tour races and vice-versa. But it also seems like it might be tough logistically. Would he stay with Santa Cruz for US racing? Does that mean he could only go to teams that ride Cervelo, Focus, or Raleigh? Could he keep his other sponsorships (Monster, Blenders, etc.)?

I don’t know the answers, but as someone who enjoys following Keegan’s racing, I hope he finds a way to do what he finds rewarding, whatever that happens to be.


Is it just me or does it seem that those commenting here didn’t watch any of the race at all?


Oh I think Keegan doing worlds created a much bigger stir, way more clicks/eyeballs, and generally a lot more attention than he would have gotten otherwise. Add to that lots of articles about him going, his bike, etc. This was an unexpected jackpot for his exposure domestically and worldwide. He’s even getting a lot of attention from the naysayers who would only be satisfied with a top 10 at the world championships, lol.


I think attending road world’s and the relationships he may have been able to foster there would be significantly more valuable than a BWR result. Only a very small part of the cycling community would have even heard of BWR, let alone known it was on this weekend.

There’s a funny mix of condescension in these threads. Keegan had a fine result really it doesn’t speak negatively of his abilities, and shows he isn’t ready to compete on the levels of the best one day racers in the world. Both of these things were pretty well expected.

I’d have love to have seen / assume he could have taken the place of Scott McGill in the break.

Also, Keegan did 300W NP for 260km. That’s kind of wild, and shows how tough this race was. A lot of these road races, the back fillers are able to have very low average powers (relative their high speeds etc)

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So since this thread has strayed from the original post a bit, lets make it easy:

  • A Pro on a continental team (like Human Power Health) who races in Europe all year would’ve been a better choice for Worlds
  • Keegan, who is stronger, but much less strong in the pack riding department, was the best choice

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