Has he already wrapped up the Lifetime #1? If not, I can see him prioritizing that paycheck over Worlds, even though I’d love to see him race Worlds.
Yes, Alexey said so at least on the gravel ride podcast since he can drop the last race and still have more points than him even with a win
Yep, that math checks out:
Yep - he has #1 locked in. But he has to show up and ride Big Sugar.
Alexey Vermeleun has said he’s making more money now that when he was on the WPT.
I just listened to the podcast. I didn’t hear this. What i heard was him taking the opportunity to talk to some teams, given that he’s there and the chance to interact is high. But what i also heard was:
…we’ll just see how it goes and if, you know, i can pull something out of my ass and get a crazy result then, then i’m sure a team would sign me for the same or more than i’d want to be paid on the road, uhm, but if they don’t then that’s just fine, i’m just going to keep racing offroad.
The way i see it is as i wrote before. He tried his best but his ability on the day didn’t turn any heads and no one is knocking on his door to say “hey, here’s an actual offer X, we want you to race with us.”
I did not get the impression from the podcast that he had tangible contract discussions with any team. I think he’s had quite a few discussions about his potential and his engine but his performance/results at a world class level - even in MTB - are simply not enough for him to be offered something he would consider. And like others have said, good on him for having a financial situation in the US be lucrative enough to remain racing in the way he’s racing.
Not surprised by that in the slightest…guys who were mid-tier pros don’t make the huge salaries, and going as a privateer into a booming field can be pretty lucrative comparatively. Individual sponsorship opportunities across the spectrum of kit and equipment, personal sponsorships, etc.
The flip side is that you have to work your ass off to find and keep those sponsorships, plus coordinate all your own travel, logistics, etc (or pay for someone to do it for you).
I dunno…if I was Trek or EF (i.e. Cannondale), I would probably go ahead and try and sign Keegan to a WT / Alt-racing gig, with his primary focus being the alt-racing stuff and flying him in to select races in Europe to earn his chops. If he shows potential, great…if not, you have still gained a crapton of PR from the alt-racing angle and showcasing your product versatility (same reason everyone wants Pidcock or MVP on their bikes).
Just listened to it back, and the direct quote is as follows:
We definitely gave the world tour side some thought, and talked to different teams, there was a fair bit of interest, but road worlds came about, and I’m not going to sign anything, just going to wait and see how this goes.
I’ll let you read into that what you will.
I think everyone can read into it. No team is mentioned. No definitive terms of what would need to seen from both sides - ie he would need to demonstrate at this level, and they would need to poney up more cash than he’s making with the privateer gig. Both sides are looking for more, this is clear.
There’s so much vague chatter about how real his WT “offers” are, truly. Personally, i have my doubts that he has been presented with actual contractual terms on paper for him to consider. My 2 cents.
Even a couple months back he indicated that if he went in the WT direction he would want to still be able to do other things back state side as well. This could be a sticking point for both sides.
Team EF and their Alt-Tour sure helped increase the profile of Howes and especially Morton. Really like the idea of another big name brand (Trek for example) doing something similar with Keegan. With their marketing machine behind it, it could raise Keegan’s profile further and help sell a lot of bikes.
Separately, I mentioned Trek but they don’t seem to have any sort of relationship with Lifetime. Specialized has been front and center at the Lifetime GP events. In Leadville, numerous brands including Specialized, BMC, Scott, Allied and more had areas in the Expo, but Trek was no where to be seen.
Trek had a set up at Chequamegeon. I do not recall seeing any other bike brands there. But as a WI company I would have been shocked if Trek was not set up there.
I would assume there would be some sort of agreement before any contract on paper was provided. Since there was no firm agreement there was no contract provided. From the podcast it sounded like he talked to a few teams, but decided that staying his current course made the most sense. I would assume the only way he could make that decision is with all info - which would have had to include some kind of financial discussion. Or maybe it didn’t even come to finances and the talks about how he would fit in on teams just didn’t jive with what he wanted to do as a bike racer. We will never really know though - and does it really matter? All speculation on our parts as it is.
I have no doubt he or his people talked to some WT teams.
I suspect they were trying to feel out what his interest/potential level of commitment is as much as anything. As in, if he told one of them he’s moving to Europe and he’s fully committed to having a go on the road, that conversation might have gone down the road towards offers. But he’s not ready to do that, so no offers.
I’m sure in his ideal world he’d get an alt-schedule team contract where he races some classics or early season tours, and then get to do the domestic races as well. I’m sure WT teams are convinced he can hang on the WT, but I’m not sure why any of them would be convinced he’d be so valuable on the road as to make that arrangement without a few full seasons on the road.
Yea even lachlan showed he could hang on the road before going down the alt tour route
Yea, I wouldn’t read too much into trek being there. If there’s a major bike event in Wisonsin, Trek is there. They sponsor everything, from one of races to both our CX and XC MTB series.
It isn’t the value to the title sponsor necessarily, it is the value to the bike sponsor.
They get to showcase the versatility of their brands / bikes.
What TheBandit said. They don’t call the WT elite for nothin’. While it is possible Keegan could do well, jumping into the fray with Remco, Pog, Vingegaard, WVA, MVDP (to say nothing of the dozen or so riders who can take them on a good day - Sagan, Alaphillippe, G, Pidcock, etc).
Keegan is an impressive rider, but if you compare his palmares with those of the top 25 or even 50 riders in the WT, you’ll quickly see they’re on a whole 'nother level. Those guys are almost their own species.
Of course, if he went to Europe and brought home a victory at a Monument or a Classic or two, you could toss all of this out the window and call him America’s next great rider.
I suspect that he’s enjoying being one of the top riders in the US in his specialties, and that setting his own schedule and winning races in the US is better than setting his life aside for a few years to be a mid pack finisher and carrying water bottles for some Beligian, Dutch, or Slavic kit 5 years his junior.
Is Keegan flirting with EF?. Saw a pic of him wearing an EF Rapha shirt for Cape Epic, with LM. It could be a really good fit!. They have a good program and flexibility.
I was wondering the same thing at first but he just re-upped with Santa Cruz. Not sure how many years. Don’t think Cannondale, EF sponsor, would like that.
I think cannondale is owned by the same parent company as Santa Cruz so maybe this is just a 1 time exception deal.
Correct that Pon Holdings owns both Cannondale and Santa Cruz, amongst others(Cervelo). So I’m sure they’re not upset at all, and probably thrilled to have a bit of crossover ad potential. I’m sure that Keegan wasn’t keen on paying for the Cape Epic experience out of his pocket, so having EF help out, and teaming up with Lachlan is just a great call, that benefits all the parties involved!