Magnus Sheffield lands sixth in Tour of Flanders after Ineos Grenadiers’ new generation shines

American takes a step forward as the British team rallies around their new young core of Classics riders

Clock22:28, Sunday 31st March 2024
Magnus Sheffield wet and muddy after a strong ride in Flanders

© Getty Images

Magnus Sheffield wet and muddy after a strong ride in Flanders

American rider Magnus Sheffield (Ineos Grenadiers) landed the best Monument result of his young career with sixth place at the Tour of Flanders on Sunday.

The 21-year-old capped a solid day for Ineos Grenadiers, with Josh Tarling taking 17th and Ben Turner cracking the top forty in a brutally tough edition of the race that included heavy rain, cold, and cobbles. Turner and Tarling were instrumental in Sheffield’s eventual top-10 finish, chasing down several moves in the second half of the race and even attacking at certain stages as they looked to break up proceedings and put riders down the road.

The win escaped them, with Mathieu van der Poel taking his third title, but the Ineos riders showed signs of encouragement with Tarling, 20, and Turner, 24, both turning in highly respectable performances.

Sheffield was the star of the show for the British team, making the next selection after Van der Poel had escaped, and arriving in a small group behind the Dutch rider in Oudenaarde.

Read more: Tour of Flanders – Mathieu van der Poel claims record third title with 45km solo

“Flanders is such a historic race, there’s never been an American [male] to win but I told myself that even a top-ten today, I knew was possible, so to be fighting for the podium, I think that we can be really happy with this," Sheffield said at the finish.

"This is only my third Flanders but I think that each year I’m getting better and more experience, so I think that for my career, it’s a good showing. I can learn from this and hopefully, I can fight for the win one day,”

Ineos remain a work in progress in terms of their roster but Tarling, Turner and Sheffield represent part of their new generation and the team’s future when it comes time trialing and one-day races.

On Sunday it was clear that Sheffield had a protected role but he was assigned admirable help via Tarling and Turner. However, when it came to scrambling up the Koppenberg climb, it was a clear case of every rider for himself as athletes were forced to unclip and walk sections due to the slippery nature of the wet stones and the fact that the slowing in pace caused a near standstill after the first few riders had made it safely through.

Read more: Matteo Jorgenson – I just ran out of talent trying to follow Mathieu van der Poel at the Tour of Flanders

“I felt like I was just riding through groups. I was in a decent position every time that we hit the Kwaremont but then on the Koppenberg, you saw all of us had to dismount and run or walk up the cobbles. There were quite a few crashes but then Ben was able to chase as well as Josh, to help us fight for a podium and then in that sprint I just didn’t have the legs but I have to thank the team,” Sheffield added.

“There’s the Koppenberg cyclo-cross race and I’m sure that’s as best as you can describe it. Obviously, in road shoes, you’re not meant to run up cobblestones, and we were just trying to get up as quickly as possible, then when I saw guys remount I did the same but at that point, Mathieu had already attacked and we were just trying to chase as best as possible.”

Related Content

Link to 10 riders to watch at Amstel Gold Race
There are five former winners lining up across the women's and men's Amstel Gold Race

10 riders to watch at Amstel Gold Race

Between the men’s and women’s races, there are a host of would-be winners, but here are our 10 riders to keep an eye on

Clock
Link to Tom Pidcock hoping to improve on podium finishes at Amstel Gold Race
Tom Pidcock on the podium of the 2023 Amstel Gold Race

Tom Pidcock hoping to improve on podium finishes at Amstel Gold Race

Brit bouncing back from Paris-Roubaix debut and looking forward to hillier Ardennes terrain

Clock
Link to Ineos owner Jim Ratcliffe appeals to UCI for 'real action' on rider safety
Dave Brailsford (left) and Jim Ratcliffe (right) are both heavily involved with both Manchester United and Ineos Grenadiers, under the umbrella of Ineos Sport

Ineos owner Jim Ratcliffe appeals to UCI for 'real action' on rider safety

Ineos Grenadiers' billionaire owner writes open letter, pointing to Formula 1's transformation after the death of Ayrton Senna and bemoaning crashes suffered by Chris Froome and Egan Bernal in recent years

Clock
Link to Primož Roglič forced to skip Liège-Bastogne-Liège through injury
Primož Roglič had been enjoying a successful Itzulia Basque Country prior to his crash

Primož Roglič forced to skip Liège-Bastogne-Liège through injury

Bora-Hansgrohe leader also misses La Flèche Wallonne as a result of knee injury and wounds, with priority placed on recovery before the Tour de France

Clock
Subscribe to the GCN Newsletter

Get the latest, most entertaining and best informed news, reviews, challenges, insights, analysis, competitions and offers - straight to your inbox