The Rally Cycling ProTeam announced the signing of 25-year-old American Keegan Swirbul on Friday, one day after the team’s title sponsor, Rally Health renewed.
Swirbul, the 2015 U23 national champion, comes to the team on a two-year contract after racing with Rally Cycling as a trainee during its late campaign in Portugal. Swirbul finished the GP Internacional Torres Vedras in ninth place overall and was 15th in the Volta a Portugal.
“I’m really excited to be joining Rally Cycling,” said Swirbul. “They have fantastic management, are moving up the ranks, and I’m ready for the challenge.”
Swirbul had promising early results in cycling, beating Lance Armstrong by five minutes in a mountain bike race in his native Colorado at age 17. He turned professional with the Bissell Development Team but struggled with overuse injuries in his knee and bounced from BMC’s development team to Axeon and Jelly Belly before having a successful season with Floyd’s Pro Cycling including taking second overall in the Tour de Langkawi.
After Floyd’s folded, Swirbul went looking for a team where he could compete in Europe and signed with the Slovenian Continental squad Ljubljana Gusto Santic. But the coronavirus pandemic meant he was unable to travel overseas to race with the team.
“Early in my career, I faced a lot of obstacles,” said Swirbul. “I’m grateful for my health and this opportunity with the team. I’m going to give it everything I have.”
For the first time, Swirbul will be able to have a full European campaign in 2021, provided the coronavirus pandemic clears up.
“I’m really looking forward to being based in Europe full-time and racing a complete road program,” said Swirbul. “The timing feels right in my career to make some big steps.”
Men’s team director Patrick McCarty said, “Keegan had been on our radar for a few years so we jumped at the chance to give him a trainee role in Portugal. We’ve known him to be a huge climbing talent and quickly saw that he could adapt and race well in Europe.
“He’s an essential piece to our North American identity and we’re expecting big things from him over the next few seasons,” added McCarty.