Racers: Magnus Sheffield

  • 14 Feb 24
  • news

In the first of a new series of blogs written by our riders, we hear from Magnus Sheffield ahead of his season debut at the Volta ao Algarve.

We’ve recently finished up our final training camp in Denia and I’m happy with the work I’ve done over the past couple of months. I feel that I’ve continued to make steps progressing on but also, importantly, off the bike.

I really enjoy the pre-season training, especially getting back together with some guys you haven't seen sometimes for a whole year. I’ll start my 2024 season in Portugal at the Volta ao Algarve and I feel excited and motivated for the season ahead. 

I enjoyed the off season with my family away from the regular routine of training, racing and recovering. I feel I’ve learned a lot about myself and professional racing over the past two seasons with the team and I believe that I’ve gained a different perspective over the past year that has helped me through challenging times.

I haven't spoken publicly about the crash that I had during the Tour de Suisse last year. I wanted to have time to process everything that happened; however, I feel open to share a few things from it. I remember just about everything of the day. From waking up in my bed in the morning of the stage, up until I came around after being wheeled from the operating room in the hospital. 

As a result of the crash, I was heavily concussed and experienced a window of what felt like unconsciousness. At that moment when I sat on the mountain side there were helicopters flying above ringing in my ears while I looked out on one of the most beautiful landscapes, as I saw riders and the race convoy passing down the Albula pass. I was confused seeing medical staff around a rider that I could only recognize the team jersey of at the time, because I knew that I had crashed alone. Later on, after being transported from the scene, I was told Gino had been taken to a nearby hospital.

Unfortunately, I had only raced with Gino a few times in our careers. I’ve been told he was an incredible person, and my thoughts remain with his family and friends.

The crash reminded me of how fragile life can be. I feel incredibly lucky to be alive, to be able to walk, and even more fortunate to continue racing professionally. This season or even at the start of the Tour of Britain in 2023 when I came back, I felt I had begun a new chapter in my career and in life. 

Many people questioned if I would continue: how did the crash and what followed affect me? Would I still want to race or ride a bike? Would I still be the same rider?

I took time with family and friends back home the weeks after I returned to the USA. I did not know exactly when I would return to Europe. The team was very supportive with giving me the time my body needed before beginning training again. I am incredibly grateful for the support of my parents through that time. When you are so focused on something it is easy to lose touch with everything else that is going on around the world. It was the longest period I’ve spent in one place since elementary school.

However, I struggled when my dad turned on NBC to watch the finish of a Tour stage because I felt I was meant to be there. During my time at home, I looked through many pictures and memories from when I began riding, which helped me think about what I want to achieve in my career. I felt an immense appreciation for all the kind messages from people in the cycling world but also many outside of it that I have never met. 

After racing in Portugal this year, the plan is to head to Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and then onto the Classics. This year is special with the Olympic Games in Paris where I’m very motivated to focus on the Individual time trial and Road Race. Another big goal for me is to ride my first Grand Tour, which we’ve planned to be the Giro d’Italia.  

I have a deep feeling of wanting to win again after being so close many times last season. I want to target a World Tour stage race now that I know what it takes to wear the leader's jersey. Last year, I was consistent throughout the season and able to be among the strongest in the finals. I want to take another step with executing time trials and pushing how fast I can climb. 

Cycling is unique in that we have so many different races throughout the calendar. There are often races that collide and different riders target certain races and go through different ‘streams'’. 

Flanders is one of the hardest races on the calendar and to finish on the podium there is monumental to anyone's career. It is an incredibly dynamic race that I dream about winning in my career. 

The Tour de France is arguably the hardest stage race and grand tour of the three, with the amount of pressure from sponsors and media. Every person there on the start line has a purpose and it is the most widely known race in the world for cycling.

The Tour de France is still the highlight of what I want to achieve in my career. I believe the Giro will be a good stepping stone to seeing how I perform over twenty one stages.