Back in November 2011, Luke Keough called it when he said that 2012 would be huge. In his second year with Team SmartStop- p/b Mt Khakis, Keough claimed for the second year in a row the overall elite and under23 USA Crits titles, as well as winning the Terrapin Athens Twilight Criterium, a race he had targeted and the TD Bank Mayor’s Cup where his older brother Jake was also in the field. Other victories this year include the Madeira Centennial Criterium, the Tour of Somerville and the USA Crits finale, the Tour of Vail Criterium.
Luke is the middle brother of the five Keough siblings which we first met in 2010. It all started when Jake was six years old. A friend introduced the family to BMX and that was all it took. One after the other, the brothers followed him into cycling and dad Michael joined in the fun. (Read more about the Keoughs).
Earlier today, Team UnitedHealthcare announced that Luke will be joining brother Jake in the Pro Continental squad in 2013. (See release below)
The Keoughs, who hail from Sandwich, Massachusetts, have quickly made a name for themselves over the course of the past few years and dominated the US sprinting circuit this past season. Both brothers enjoyed great success on the bike throughout 2012 and capped off their outstanding campaigns going head-to-head one final time in their backyard of Boston, Massachusetts, just three weeks ago at the TD Bank Mayor’s Cup. Although Jake got the best of his younger brother in June at the 39th Annual Harlem Skyscraper Classic en route to winning the famed New York City race, it was little brother Luke who emerged victorious in Boston in the last race of each of their respective road seasons. Now, with the lighting fast brothers joining forces on Team UnitedHealthcare in 2013, the sport’s best will have to contend with what is expected to be an even faster Blue Train next year.
Commenting on Jake’s return and the addition of Luke Keough, General Manager and Team Director, Mike Tamayo, said, “We have been working with Jake since the 2010 season. We’re now going into our fourth year together and we have learned how to win a lot different sprints. His rate of development points at some big wins in the coming year. Luke and Jake are different types of sprinters and the two of them together will be a deadly combination. What I see in Luke is raw talent and passion, which is exactly what we saw from Jake heading into the 2010 season. But it is up to us as a team to develop him on to the bigger podiums.”
Excited and extremely optimistic about the immediate future with the Keough Boys racing alongside each other, Tamayo concluded, “It is up to us as a team to develop Luke. Patience will be important, but expect to see big things from the Keoughs.”
The hard working, fearless and confident, Jake Keough, said, “I am excited to be returning to UnitedHealthcare for the 2013 season. In 2012 individually and as a Team, we made big strides by winning high caliber international races. Learning from previous experience and building on knowledge gained this year, I fully expect to make a big step in my sprint results for 2013. Moving forward, I am looking to add to the team’s success by taking another step in my career and sprinting with the world’s best at the top of the sport.”
As for the addition of brother Luke, Jake said enthusiastically, “Having Luke join the team will be an incredible asset for both myself and UnitedHealthcare. Luke and I train together on a daily basis and we are able to communicate very well with one another on the bike, which will lead to us being a force to be reckoned with in the bunch sprints! Luke is capable of doing the lead out in the sprints at big UCI races and is a proven winner here on domestic soil.”
Speaking about his jump to the Pro Continental level, Luke stated, “I am very excited to get the opportunity to race with a great program like UnitedHealthcare. I have raced against these guys for the past few seasons and have watched as it grew into the best team in the country. I am fortunate enough to join as it sets its sights on the international calendar. The jump to Pro Continental is huge but my goal has always been to race at the top level of the sport and now I have the chance to do so with UnitedHealthcare.”
“In the 2013 season I hope to learn from some of the best guys in the sport. Gaining experience is goal number one. I have had success this past season but there is always more to learn. Becoming an asset to a winning squad is what next season is all about,” he added.
“Racing with Jake will be a great chance for me to learn. We’ve trained together since I started riding and he’s taught me almost everything I know about winning,” said Keough. “He has made my progression through the sport much easier with all the experience he has past on. Plus we should be a good match because if there is one person who hates losing more than me its my older brother!”
Adam Myerson, Team SmartStop p/b Mountain Khakis’ Captain and Manager, praised his now former rider on his ascent to the Pro Continental level, saying, “We’re definitely happy to see Luke going on to UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling and consider his advancement to a Pro Continental team an indicator of the success of our program. Our team was founded on development principles, and the two seasons Luke spent incubating and maturing here has prepared him for exactly this opportunity. Mike Tamayo has hired from our program in the past, and we’ve always appreciated his recognition of our program and cooperation with us as we try to move riders on.”
“Luke is one of those rare talents where the sky’s the limit. What is work for others is play for him, and it’s very difficult to teach someone the things that come naturally to him. His ability to drive a bike, his explosiveness and agility, his willingness to do the training, and the everyday demeanor with which he carries himself are all key core ingredients on which he can build a career,” Myerson continued.
“With cyclocross and criteriums as a foundation, Luke can go to Team UHC and begin the transition to a European field sprinter and classics rider, and follow in the path currently being laid by his older brother Jake. He’s still only 21, and he has the next couple of years to add in the depth of form he’ll need to finish 200K races and get over bigger climbs. I fully expect to see him winning races in Europe within one season. Races like the Scheldepris have his name all over it,” Myerson concluded.