CUKAI, Malaysia (VN) – Second in the opening road stage, third on Stage 8, UnitedHealthcare’s young American, Jake Keough, has been one of the few able to come close to the sprinting juggernaut that is Andrea Guardini at the Tour de Langkawi, who racked up his fourth stage win Friday.
Three kilometers from the finish in Cukai and with the United Healthcare blue train running full steam ahead, Keough’s chain came off and both feet came out of the pedals – catapulting him from the front of the peloton to dead last.
To his and his team’s credit, the 24-year-old managed to get himself back to the front and sprint for third place: “I think today was perfect – we came out of the (final) corner in first and second with (Robert) Forster and myself and it was perfect… If we didn’t have a mechanical issue, I think we could’ve won,” he told VeloNews.
With two more stages to go before the race wraps up Sunday with a circuit race in Kuala Terengganu in the country’s northeast, will Keough keep trying or has he given up hope?
“One-hundred percent (I will keep trying),” he said.
Check out more VeloNews.com exclusive interviews and rider diaries from the Tour de Langkawi
Realizing life in advertising was nothing like Mad Men and buoyed by the Olympic Games in his Australian hometown of Sydney, Anthony Tan turned his back on a lucrative copywriting career in 2000 in pursuit of something more cerebral. Combining wordsmithing with his experiences as an A-Grade club racer and an underwhelming season competing in Europe, a career as a cycling scribe beckoned… More than a dozen Grand Tours and countless Classics later, it’s where he still is today. He has been a contributor to VeloNews since 2006. In 2010, he won Cycling Australia’s media award for best story. Follow him on Twitter: @anthony_tan