Keegan and Alexis set the tone for the year by each notching new fastest known times (FKTs) on Utah’s White Rim trail, while Tobin set the record for the reverse White Rim loop. After that, nothing on the endurance race calendar was safe–especially from Swenson. Though you could make an argument for several of Keegan’s wins as the “best of,” we’re gonna go with just one…er two.
Winning either the Leadville Trail 100 MTB or the six-day Breck Epic overall is a huge accomplishment. Winning them back-to-back is unheard of. But that’s exactly what Keegan did, and when we say back-to-back, we literally mean he finished Leadville one day and started Breck Epic the next. To put it in perspective, that means he went into North America’s most challenging multi-day stage race not by doing an easy shakedown ride, but by doing the continent’s hardest single-day mountain bike race. He also won them both over a field stacked with the country’s best endurance racers who had trained and tapered for one or the other, not both.
Our friends at SRAM, who co-sponsor the htSQD, captured the essence of the team in a video called “Steps to the Top,” which is worth a watch.
The deeper one gets into creating meals, the more exotic the ingredients become. Palates develop, creativity blooms, and a fuller understanding of what a “balanced” meal is reveals itself, often in ways one wouldn’t expect. The Santa Cruz htSQD is one of these exotic recipes. Five unlikely ingredients, each humble and unassuming on their own, all elevate when combined.