Magnus Sheffield crushes world junior individual pursuit record

Sheffield bettered the world record by three seconds, and reset the American record by 10 seconds.

Magnus Sheffield rode 3:06.447 for 3,000m on Thursday, November 19, 2020, to set a new world junior individual pursuit record. This was a pace of 57.93kph (35.99mph).

The 2019 world junior bronze medallist on the road made his record-setting ride at the 7-Eleven Velodrome at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which sits at 1,840 meters elevation.

The previous world junior record in the 3km pursuit was held by New Zealand’s Finn Fisher-Black, who set the mark of 3:09.710 in February 2019 in Cambridge, New Zealand. Taylor Phinney held the previous U.S. record in the junior 3km pursuit — he stopped the clock at 3:16.589 in June 2008. The current senior world record time of 4:01.934 for 4,000m was set by Filippo Ganna in February 2020. The Italian who rides for Ineos-Grenadiers rode at a speed of 59.52kph (36.98mph) during this effort.

Sheffield decided to make a run at the U.S. record when in training earlier in November he recorded a 3:08.8, an unofficial American record at the time. For that effort, Sheffield pedaled a massive 59×15 gear ratio. Unlike road racing, junior track efforts of this nature do not require riders to pedal smaller gears.

When Sheffield learned that the UCI was not going to hold world junior championships for 2020 due to the pandemic, he took it upon himself to take on new challenges.

“This is something I could train for on my own time. It’s a little bit like a FKT [Fastest Know Time] challenge because you can do it by yourself,” Sheffield said.

Sheffield is a strong cyclocross racer, and while he’s at home on mixed surfaces, and in the oval, he’s recently signed with Rally Cycling for the coming 2021 season.