The 18-year-old came up against some experienced riders in the form of Anriette Schoeman, Yolande de Villiers and Maroesjka Matthee, as well as back-to-back national time-trial champion Liezel Jordaan.
The Durban local completed the race in 3:09:56, beating Schoeman and 18-year-old Frances Janse van Rensburg to the line.
She said she was surprised and honoured to claim the victory.
“I didn’t really expect to win. This was my first time doing this race,” Keep told In the Bunch today.
“It was cool to be racing with the elite ladies such as Anriette, who is one of the locals here. It was great to race against someone of her calibre, because she’s obviously come through the ranks in the sport.”
The Valley Electrical-Titan Racing rider added however that the field was slightly thinned out due to many riders having taken part in the Berge & Dale in Johannesburg yesterday.
“But the quality was still up there and the racing was really positive, especially towards the end when the five of us in the breakaway worked so well together,” she said.
Keep said the breakaway group – comprising her, Schoeman, Janse van Rensburg, Jordaan and De Villiers – broke clear from the bunch at about the halfway mark.
While admitting that was relatively early for a break she said because the five of them worked so well together they managed to create a two-minute lead, which later grew to almost five minutes.
“None of us within the breakaway were part of a team so that meant we were all riding for ourselves. That’s why we worked so well together, because there weren’t any team tactics involved.
“We tried to keep our speed at just above 40km/h and then as we headed towards the finish we started playing a bit of cat and mouse.”
As the final sprint fast approached, Keep said the wind came up and played a decisive part in the outcome.
“We came up against some headwinds and then some tailwinds, which played a big role.
“Because of the wind factor I started my sprint later than I probably would have [otherwise]. It was important to do that.
“I came out from the outside and I was really happy to take it.”
Keep now has her sights set on the Cape Town Cycle Tour where she said she looked forward to racing in the 78km women-only starting batch, which is being repeated this season after a trial run last year.
“Even though it’s shorter than the full distance it’s great that the women have their own separate start. I’m really looking forward to it.”