By Peter Hymas
Jake Keough, a 21-year-old professional on the American Kelly Benefit Strategies team, sprinted to victory in the first stage of the Vuelta Ciclista del Uruguay, taking place from April 3 to 12.
"The kid is fast. He had enough time to throw his arms in the air," said team manager Ken Mills to Cyclingnews. "Our main goal was a stage win, with the general classification being of importance down the road. The monkey's off our back which takes a lot of pressure off our guys.
"We were super active all day, putting a rider in every break," continued Mills. "In the end, Scott Zwizanski was up the road with a Brazilian rider which forced other teams to chase. They still had a 12 second lead with three kilometres to go.
"Cando [Alex Candelario] led out the sprint and says a lot about Keough that a rider of Candelario's sprinting prowess would sacrifice himself."
Currently, the Kelly Benefit Strategies team is fielding teams on two continents, with the squad split between the Vuelta Ciclista del Uruguay and the Maha Chakri Sirindhon's Cup in Thailand from April 4 to 9.
"Increasing our international schedule is a major goal for the KBS program this year," said Jonas Carney, Performance Director. "We had some of our best results last season while competing overseas and we hope to continue that trend in both Thailand and Uruguay. We're very excited to be participating in these two great events and know that it will provide good preparation for major upcoming events on the domestic circuit this year."