The U23 national road and time-trial champion will ride in the cross-country race tomorrow and the team time-trial on Saturday in Casablanca, Morocco.
“I’m quite looking forward to the time-trial as I get to race that discipline again. In South Africa we only really race it twice a year – at provincial champs and at national champs if you attend both.
“I thoroughly enjoy this race and I hope to learn more about different techniques as well as how to pace myself correctly.”
Keep said she was optimistic ahead of the event as she felt she was in her best form ever.
“I’ve also done all the training I could have done. I just have to trust the process. Mentally, I’m just going to go and give it my best shot and soak up the experience like a sponge.
“It will be my first time doing an event of this nature so I won’t put too much pressure on myself. Because it’s all about learning at the end of the day – especially when you’re competing against people a lot older than you,” said the 18-year-old.
She added that her selection could already be viewed as a milestone and she felt fortunate to have been old enough to compete.
“It really is such an honour for me and a confidence-booster to know I can compete amongst the best in the country and that I can be considered to ride with them and work together as a team.
“It’s only really dawning on me now how big this event is. I think it’s going to be quite something and a really proud moment for me to be able to represent SA.”
Keep felt an event of this magnitude was important for a professional cyclist because it was about representing your country.
“It also brings together cyclists and forms that camaraderie which I think SA riders are known for.
“It’s a great time for the national team to get to know one another better, especially leading up to Tokyo 2020. I’m sure many have their eyes on this event and will want to make an impact. It’s the perfect test-run for that.”
Following the Games, all roads will lead to Europe for the talented youngster as she joins the national team for “some intense racing” on the international road circuit in Italy and France next month.
“There are numerous people to thank for their contributions towards this trip.
“I’m forever grateful for the amazing support and camaraderie of the local cycling community,” said the Valley Electrical Titan Racing rider.