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Keogh takes State Road Championships

Keogh takes State Road Championships

Original Article written by OregonCyclingAction - http://oregon.cyclingaction.com/2010/keogh-tyrrell-win-tough-battles-for-obra-championships/

TROUT LAKE, Wash. — Rubicon-Orbea’s Quinn Keogh crossed the line for his first-ever OBRA Road Race Championship in the Senior Men’s event Saturday and used the opportunity to remind spectators that he is a cancer survivor.

Keogh finished with teammates Mike Northey and Roman van Uden nearly four minutes ahead of Team Oregon’s Chris Swan, who soloed in for fourth ahead of Idaho’s Gabe Vaelo (SDBC), John Browning (Echelon Gran Fondo/ZteaM) and a disintegrated field. Hot, humid conditions combined with strong winds and a difficult course to turn the championship races into battles of attrition, with 40 percent of the starters abandoning before the finish and many popping off on the short-but-sweet climb just five miles into the course. The men’s Cat 3 race was hit especially hard, with exactly half of the 36 starters dropping out.

Keogh escaped the field about 12 miles into the 92-mile race and was quickly joined by Browning and Swan on the back side of the course. Northey and van Uden then bridged to the leaders amid local auto traffic on the difficult 10-mile rolling climb back to the start/finish for the beginning of the second lap.

“They came from nowhere,” Keogh said of his teammates joining the lead trio. “I just heard them come on and say, ‘Hey’.”
The group grew to seven as they started up the first climb of the second lap after Taylor Kneuven (Adageo Energy) and Vaelo also bridged to the leaders. The chase behind from the decimated field was soon whittled down to about 10 riders as the leaders rolled well together over the mostly flat backside of the course that led to the long, fast descent. Kneuven popped off the lead pace when he suffered a broken spoke, but the group’s advantage grew to more than two minutes as they made the tight right-hand corner to head north back to the finish. Without really attacking, the Rubicon trio then shed Vaelo, Browning and eventually Swan on the difficult headwind ascent back to Trout Lake.

“All the people who dropped were cramping,” said Keogh, who admitted he had been fighting leg cramps as well for most of the final miles. “It didn’t seem that hot, but with the strong crosswinds today people were working harder than they normally would. I was cramping every couple of minutes. I’d have to stand and hope that it wouldn’t totally seize.”

Once the three teammates shed their rivals, they set their sights on putting Keogh on the top step of the podium for his first OBRA championship. Keogh crossed the line just ahead of Nortthey and van Uden, taking the moment for a symbolic victory salute.

“I’m very proud of them,” he said of his teammates. “They really gave it to me, so I’m thankful for that.”

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