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As a junior cyclist, Magnus Sheffield wasn’t exactly on the international radar. That all changed at the 2019 road world championships, where the then 17-year-old American made an indelible mark by finishing third in the junior road race. Since then, his career has been on an upward trajectory, and the now 19-year-old is set to start in the WorldTour next season as part of the Ineos Grenadiers.
But before he signed with one of pro cycling’s perennial powerhouses, he first had to find his way onto the bike. Magnus takes us through his early athletic career, which involved a lot less cycling than you might think. “My mom is from Norway so it comes naturally that I was born with skis, practically,” he said.
Having started skiing when he was two years old, Magnus quickly transitioned into alpine ski racing, which became a serious focus by his early teen years. He discussed how he got started on the bike, and how cycling eventually overtook skiing. It’s a story that’s comparable to co-host Bobby Julich’s early athletic career.
Later, the discussion turned to his breakout success at worlds, and the challenges he faced soon thereafter as a young athlete during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. During that time, he stayed motivated by turning his focus to the world junior individual pursuit record, a feat that ended up taking months to pull off. “The logistics of organizing such an event were a lot more than I expected,” he says.
And the big news in Magnus’s life recently is his three-year deal with the Ineos Grenadiers, one of the best, if not the best, WorldTour teams. “That was the team I always wanted to be a part of,” he said. He talked about how that deal came about and how the team is a good fit to support his goals.
Listen to the latest episode of Bobby & Jens for the full conversation.
Bobby & Jens is a weekly VeloNews podcast brought to you by Zwift. It stars former pros Bobby Julich and Jens Voigt and features conversations with top athletes, coaches, emerging stars, and other newsmakers from the wide world of cycling. A new episode drops every Friday. Subscribe now wherever you get your podcasts.