Of all the first-time riders at the 2017 Montana Cross Camp, Magnus Sheffield of Pittsford, New York would have been a good bet to be best prepared for coach Geoff Proctor’s unique blend of training drills. Sheffield is an accomplished downhill skier and is familiar with some of the drills from Proctor’s skiing background. Proctor was not shy about tapping into some of Sheffield’s ski knowledge during the classroom training sessions.
Sheffield, who races for the Park Ave Bike Shop team but looks to fly the colors of Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld this season, raced his first full season of cyclocross in 2015 and made quite the splash into the scene by winning the Men’s Junior 13-14 category at U.S. Cyclocross Nationals in Asheville.
In the latest of our ever-growing series of Montana Cross Camp athlete interviews, Cyclocross Magazine sat down with Sheffield at the Montana Cross Camp to ask him about skiing, cyclocross and how the two work together for him.
Montana Cross Camp Interview with Magnus Sheffield
Cyclocross Magazine: How are you feeling after four hard days of workouts?
Magnus Sheffield: I feel good. A little tired in the legs, but it’s a good tired.
CXM: Have you been to Cross Camp before?
MS: I had an invite last year, but I had to decline it because I was hiking in Switzerland.
CXM: We were talking earlier, but you’re also a ski racer?
CXM: Have you ever been at any ski camps like this?
MS: Very much so. We have training camps in Colorado and also in Sweden.
CXM: So this kind of environment and these kinds of drills aren’t too foreign to you?
CXM: Do you these kinds of drills every morning? Do you do that in your daily life?
MS: More or less, they intertwine.
CXM: Being so motivated at skiing, what motivated you to attend this camp?
MS: I think it’s also because I missed last [year], I really wanted to attend this year and see what it’s all about. Also, for a while skiing was my main priority, and I started cyclocross as kind of offseason training. I think I was very successful in cyclocross, so it’s kind of made its way up on my priorities along with skiing. I think this camp will kind of help me learn some new techniques to involve in my training to help evolve.
CXM: What was the biggest takeaway?
MS: Probably the uphill running training.
CXM: Do you do any of that in downhill ski training?
MS: A little bit, yeah.
CXM: What was the highlight?
MS: The highlight was probably that very last KOM where we met you at the top. I thought that was a lot of fun.
CXM: A lot of fun? That was a long climb at altitude. You enjoyed that?
MS: Yeah, I got to stay on Tobin’s wheel for a majority and then they dropped me at the end.
CXM: Coming from New York, do you have a lot of big climbs like that? Gravel roads?
MS: Depends on where you are in New York. You really have to get out of town about 20 minutes and then you’ll hit some big climbs. There’s nothing like the gravel here. It’s just unbelievable what they have here in Helena.
CXM: You mentioned you’re going to go to a ski academy this season, but for cyclocross, what’s your biggest goal for the season?
MS: My biggest goal for the season is probably to win Nationals in my age group and just increase my ranking.
CXM: Is it hard balancing the two sports, since they’re both winter sports?
MS: Yes and no. It’s really nice because when Nationals is in January, I am able to train all of December in Colorado for skiing, and I have about two and a half weeks before Nationals where I can kind of switch modes and I can focus entirely on cyclocross. But until late November, I will be really focused on cycling. Once we get to Colorado, I am hoping to bring my bike, but I’m not sure if that will happen.
CXM: After Reno, we switch Nationals back to December. Are you a fan of that? Does that help or complicate your training?
MS: I do want to say I’m a fan that it will become December because I will be able to attend more ski races in January. But it will get difficult with the early-season training because I will miss out on that. However, I will be able to do more races.
CXM: Besides skiing and cyclocross, what else keeps you busy?
MS: School’s high up there. I also do a lot of triathlons. Soccer. That’s pretty much it.
CXM: How do you find time to swim and run?
MS: I feel that a lot of the triathlon training is really different than cyclocross. However, I feel like it keeps it interesting and fun doing multiple sports and kind of combining them in one like a triathlon. I think it’s really awesome just training for cyclocross, but I think it’s also fun mixing it up, doing swimming, double sessions in a day. Swimming in the morning, running in the afternoon.
CXM: Are you talking Olympic distance or sprint?
MS: I primarily do Olympics and sprints, yes.
CXM: Any aspirations for longer distances? Half Ironmans, Ironmans?
MS: Once I’m old enough, I will probably want to do an Ironman.
CXM: So the triathlons is more after the snow melts?
MS: Kind of in between cyclocross and skiing, yep.
CXM: In one word how would you describe Geoff Proctor?
CXM: What could you teach the next generation so they can take that next step and be invited to Cross Camp?
MS: Hard work is definitely one of Geoff’s big mottos. I think a big one would be thinking one step ahead and always being on top of your game.
CXM: Thank you for your time.
MS: You’re welcome. Thank you.