Culture

Bobby & Jens podcast: Magnus Bäckstedt

Magnus Bäckstedt joins the show to weight in on the UCI's bottle rule and the accelerated development of young riders.

A sliver of good news for fans of Paris-Roubaix: While a pandemic surge in France forced the postponement of this spring’s “Hell of the North,” it didn’t prevent Bobby Julich and Jens Voigt from chatting with popular 2004 winner Magnus Bäckstedt on this week’s episode of their podcast.

Maggy, as the 6’3”, 200-pound hard man was known, remains the first and only Swede to win Paris-Roubaix, as well as the first Swede to win a stage of the Tour de France. How did he forge a successful career coming from a country dominated by skiers? He recalls his almost-accidental introduction to the sport after spending most of his childhood racing on, yes, skis, and his progression through the junior ranks to become one of the most respected riders in the peloton.

Along the way, he also gained a reputation as a fearsome descender, and he shares his secrets for going fast (hint: it’s about the corners), what it feels like to hit 100kph, and his picks for the sport’s best descenders (the answers may surprise you).

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Bobby and Jens also pick the Eurosport commentator’s brain on two hot topics: the UCI’s new littering rule and the accelerated development of today’s young riders. Don’t miss Bäckstedt’s informative assessment of the latter—and his entertaining back-and-forth with Jens on the wrong-headedness of ejecting riders for handing bottles to roadside fans.

The episode also features analysis from a busy week of racing across Europe, plus the winner of this week’s “Shut Up, Legs!” winner (and your chance to vote on next week’s contenders).

“Bobby & Jens” is a weekly podcast from VeloNews starring former pros Bobby Julich and Jens Voigt, and featuring 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.

Send your questions and “Shut Up, Legs!” votes to BobbyandJens@VeloNews.com or @bobbyandjens.