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The 19-year-old has enjoyed a stellar start to his WorldTour career since joining Ineos Grenadiers at the beginning of the year. He claimed a stunning win on stage of the Ruta del Sol in February, and followed that up in early April with another win, this time on the cobbles of Brabantse Pijl-Flèche Brabançonne.
He had his monument debut at the Tour of Flanders two weeks ago and heads into his maiden Paris-Roubaix with his morale sky high.
“I feel like I’ve had a really strong start to the season,” Sheffield told the media at the teams’ presentation ahead of Sunday’s classic.
“Getting the win in De Brabantse Pijl – La Flèche Brabançonne was obviously a big confidence boost. I’m just really excited to be here, healthy and fresh. I’m really motivated to start tomorrow.”
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Sheffield appears well capable of handling the increasing attention and pressure that has been put on his shoulders in recent weeks, but it’s unclear how his Paris-Roubaix debut will develop. While he is certainly inexperienced at this level, his form has been one of many bright spots for Ineos Grenadiers in the classics this spring.
“I’ve done Flanders so I’ve already done a monument and I feel that I’ve been able to get that out of my system, and now I’m excited to race tomorrow. You see that the winners are getting younger and younger, but by no means do I feel like that’s adding pressure for me. I really just need to be optimistic and think longterm. I’m just really trying to enjoy the moment,” he said.
Along with Michal Kwiatkowski and Dylan van Baarle, the British WorldTour team has a number of options, alongside Sheffield.
“The team is extremely strong this year, especially, but there’s a really strong bond off the bike. It’s just a pleasure and I feel really lucky to be part of this group. It’s really about soaking up the moment, like I said earlier,” he added. “We have Kwiatkowski who is in good form obviously but we have lots of cards to play so I don’t think that you can watch just one of us. You can look at any of the guys on the team.”