What's Cool In Road Cycling

Magnus Maximus: A Day In The Break

Week 1 of the Vuelta is in the books, and it’s been full of action. Last time we spoke to Magnus, he said he was going to try and get into a good break; on Thursday he did that very thing…

Pez: Tell us about your adventure, Magnus.

Magnus: I just figured that it was time I got into a decent break!
To be honest, on a ‘sprinter’ stage it’s virtually impossible to make it work, but you have to try. There were four of us and we went-clear at around five or six K and stayed-away until seven to go, we were away for around 170 k. We were all committed, but the guy from the Spanish continental team, Andalucнa wasn’t that strong on the flat and it was a cross to head wind, all the way. In a break like that you have to concentrate, keep the gears down, pedal; make sure you eat and drink regularly because if you don’t you’ll pay for it in the last 15 to 20 k. In a way it’s a bit boring, but at the same time you’re out there leading the race, so you have to get down to the job and think that you can make it work.

Magnus set off for an all day break just after the start, only to get caught with 7km to go.

Pez: Have you recovered OK?

Magnus: Yes, my recovery has been really good, I’m pleased with that. Today I was going to see if I could get up-there in the sprint, but I came down in that crash with two k to go; I’m not bad though, it was one of those where a lot of guys go down, you’re behind them and there’s nowhere to go, except over the ‘bars!

Pez: I guess massage must be very important to aid recovery from a big effort?

Magnus: Yes, massage does aid recovery, my muscles require ‘heavy’ or ‘deep’ massage and fortunately we have a soigneur with the team who is very good at that. My legs just seem to be getting better as the race progresses, though.

Pez: The ‘old dog’, Zabel is still alive?

Magnus: He was a bit lucky today, everybody from tenth wheel back got held-up in that crash, including Freire, but yeah, he’s still quick.

Pez: Freire has had a good Vuelta.

Magnus: Yeah, he’s the quickest guy around, just now; he would have been up-there today if he hadn’t been held-up by that crash.

Never under estimate the importance of fuel in a long break, and be sure you’ve got something you like to ride – like Maggy’s Cannondale.

Pez: Time trial tomorrow, ‘additional rest day’ or effort?

Magnus: If I get the right sensations from my legs when I’m warming-up, then I’ll go out and ride as hard as I can for as long as I can. If I’m not feeling great then I’ll just ride for recovery, but at the moment, I intend to ride hard. I’m not time trial specialist, but if I’m going well then I enjoy riding against the watch.

Pez: Cadel must be thinking about amarillo at the end of tomorrow, do you think he’ll have been saving his legs for it?

Magnus: In theory, but when you’re in his position, you can’t relax; you’re stressed all the time. He has to keep at the front of keep out of trouble, a crash can end your race and he has to be vigilant that an echelon doesn’t slip away; it’s never easy if you’re in his situation.

Pez: What hardware are you riding?

Magnus: The same Cannondale System Six that I’ve been-on all year, I like it a lot.

Pez: Are you looking-forward to going all-carbon with Felt at Slipstream next year?

Magnus: I’m looking forward to working with Felt, passing-on my experience, in fact, I’ve spoken to them already; but it’s not concrete that I’ll be riding all-carbon, there’s flexibility as far as choice of frame materiel goes.

Pez: How has the Vuelta been hotel and food-wise?

Magnus: Very good, I’m happy with everything right now.

Pez: OK, Magnus – ‘hey doh’ (Swedish for cheerio) how was that?

Magnus: Not bad!

I’ll be back practicing my Swedish with Magnus in a couple of days.


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