INEOS Grenadiers 20-year-old American, Magnus Sheffield may have narrowly missed out on the podium at the Santos Tour Down Under, but as he takes home the races White Jersey for best young rider, he is delighted with the progress he's showing.
"The week was full of highs and lows. We started with the prologue and then we had quite a few hectic stages with echelons and some punchy stages," Sheffield reveals to Cycling News. "This was really my first race where I tried to stay up there in the overall of a WorldTour stage race. I can be really happy, especially considering the guys I was contending it with. I was just off the podium but I have the white jersey to show all the hard work of the guys in the team."
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One moment of contention in the Tour Down Under was between Sheffield and Team Jayco Al'Ula's Michael Matthews. Sheffield was defiantly standing up for himself as he said "the values of the team are important and we talk about them a lot. We have respect for older riders and what it means to wear the Ineos Grenadiers jersey. It takes a certain level of maturity to ride in this team and we have expectation on how we’re supposed to act."
With a 4th placed finish in the general classification marking a brilliant start to the season for Sheffield, the American is refusing to get too ahead of himself. "When you come to a team like Ineos Grenadiers, you have big shoes to fill but I feel that I’m progressing quickly and I’m more comfortable with a leadership role," Sheffield explains. "I’m still young, it’s only January and I have big ambitions for the Classics, so I have to remind myself that it’s going to be a long season. I have to be patient."