Western Australia’s rising star is ready for the gates to drop in 2020 as he dives headfirst onto the junior elite stage in the biggest way possible.
Representing Southside BMX Club, Jayden Keogh has been a rider to watch throughout 2019 and while his season has been a rollercoaster of success, his commitment and passion has been unwavering, something that will hold him in good stead in 2020.
That commitment will come in handy when Australia hosts the first four rounds of the 2020 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup at Shepparton (February 1 & 2) and Bathurst (February 8 & 9), something Keogh is eagerly anticipating as he kicks off his junior elite career.
“I’m really looking forward to the world cups,” Keogh said.
“I’ve started my junior elite training and I know I’m starting on the hardest foot possible, but if we can start there and take the year as it comes, I should be okay.”
While the 16-year old is going in with competitive mindset, he can’t help but become a fan boy when he realises, he will be lining up on the gate with some of his childhood heroes.
“It’s pretty cool knowing my idols are going to become my rivals,” Keogh laughed.
“Knowing that everyone from around the globe is going to be there is a pretty daunting idea. It’s going to be such a great opportunity and I don’t think there’s a better way to kick off my junior elite season than with four rounds of the biggest BMX race.”
While 2020 is filled with exciting opportunities, Keogh has had a mixed year of results on the 2019 national stage and hasn’t achieved the goals he set.
Keogh was a regular competitor in the 2019 BMXA BAD BOY National Series, with the 16-boy’s rider racing in his home state for stage 2 (Westside), stage 3 in Queensland (Ipswich), stage 4 in Darwin (Sat City) and stage 5 in Adelaide (The Cove).
Racing in one of the most competitive classes of the series, Keogh was a favourite for the top spot, but two stages let him down and resulted in him finishing third on the standings.
“My national series was up and down and all over the show,” Keogh continued.
“I did lots of travel around Australia doing the rounds I could get to. I did have pretty high expectations which was pretty disappointing in the long run.
“I think my biggest success for this year was taking the win in my home state of the national series. It gave me a really good kick start to the year, and I knew I did the best I could.
“I also think my performance at the South Australian stage was really good too. I didn’t drop a lap the whole day there and racing felt great.
“But two of the rounds I was looking really good and then I got unlucky in the finals. Every time I missed out, it hit me hard and getting on top of it mentally was really difficult.
“But I think it made me more ready and toughened me up teaching me a lot of lessons for the years to come.”
Keogh toiled through, and towards the back end of 2019, he began to see the results he was looking for including a clean sweeping performance at stage 5 of the national series and his fifth consecutive state title.
Next year’s goals are very measured for the Southside rider. The world cup rounds will be nothing more than experience, while his major focus will be on the national stage including the superclass category of the national series as well as the junior elite class at the national championships in Launceston.
“My expectations for the world cup are more about the way I’m riding,” Keogh said.
“How I prepare, if I was happy with my races. I’m not expecting to be in the top 8, I just want to be happy with my riding and not saying afterwards ‘I wish I did this, or I wish I did that’.
“I’m more eager for nationals and the national series. Hopefully I can perform well and get myself on the junior elite team for the world championships in Houston.
“I’m really grateful for my coach Jade McPherson and all the work he has done for me.
“He’s done pretty much everything to help me make my decisions and help me pick what is going to be best. Helping me with my wants and needs. I owe it all to him.”