UCI Road World Championships: Magnus Sheffield crashes over barriers during TT
American distraught after crashing out of a good result by 'getting too greedy' in a corner.
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WOLLONGONG, Australia (VN) — Magnus Sheffield struggled to speak after a disappointing time trial effort at the UCI Road World Championships, the emotion of the moment too much for the young American.
Sheffield was Team USA’s primary hope for a strong result in the elite men’s TT in Wollongong after Lawson Craddock was forced to pull out of the competition following a visa issue. He got off to a strong start, but a mistake in the final section saw him go wide on a corner and over the barriers on the side of the road.
While he was able to get back up and finish his ride, the time loss he suffered in the crash would see him drop down to 17th. Though he tried to be pragmatic about the result, the 20-year-old couldn’t hide his disappointment.
“I think it’s tough because I put in a lot of work into the season, I’ve had a lot of success, so I think as a whole I can be super happy with it. I really wanted to come here and come away with a result,” Sheffield said.
“I feel like I started really well and then I just got a bit greedy in one of the corners, but I left it all out there in terms of trying to execute my plan, and ultimately, I need to just use this as a learning experience for the future. I think I have a long career ahead of myself and this won’t be the last time. I just have to be not so down on myself.”
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Sheffield had been sitting in fourth place at the second of the intermediate checks and looked like he was on for a good finish. The crash was not caught on TV but video from a spectator on the side of the road showed him colliding with the metal barrier before tipping over it and taking the barriers down with him.
Dans les temps pour ambitionner un top 5, l’Américain Magnus Sheffield a été victime d’une chute dans la dernière partie du parcours, s’encastrant dans les barrières. #Wollongong2022 pic.twitter.com/NrtRkyJFdc
— Le Gruppetto (@LeGruppetto) September 18, 2022
With a potential top-five result in his sight, Sheffield was pushing the limits of the road and, unfortunately, found them.
“I think it’s all about the exit, this corner was especially tight. I just tried to cut it a bit too much on the apex,” he said. “It’s this balance of not going into it too hot but trying to keep the momentum going out of it. I think I came in a bit too hot and tried to cut the apex a bit too much, so I came out of the exit a bit too wide, and I was unable to right myself in the end.”
Sheffield came into the worlds off the back of a strong debut WorldTour season, where he has shown himself to be adept across multiple terrains. Most recently, he rode to second overall at the Tour of Denmark, where he also won the time trial, and took 10th at the shortened Tour of Britain.
Though the team was not putting pressure on him to pull a performance out after Craddock was forced to pull out, he had high hopes for himself. After a year where he’s rarely missed the mark, his time trial miss came as something of a surprise and it was a tough moment for him.
“My preparation was really good going into this race, I felt really confident. I felt like I didn’t have a lot of expectations coming into this, it was mostly just the expectation I’ve put on myself,” he said. “I’ve done quite well in a lot of these time trials. I think that it’s really important to ride inside of your ability and slowly increase the speed, because that’s the art of time trialing. You’re on the limit of pushing but also being as fast as possible.”
Though he will have to wait another year before he can test himself at a worlds TT again, Sheffield’s Wollongong worlds are not done yet, and he still has an opportunity to do something in the road race next week. Fortunately for him, he avoided any serious injury and has just a few scrapes following his trip over the barriers.
“I hit the barrier quite fast, but I was able to get back on my bike quickly and finish. I will probably be a bit sore, but I still have the road race to look forward to,” he said.