No Brabantse Pijl title defense for Magnus Sheffield

Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège are likely before a break and a possible Tour de France start.

Photo: Chris Auld/VeloNews

Magnus Sheffield won’t be defending his title at Brabantse Pijl on Wednesday, team officials from Ineos Grenadiers confirmed.

Last year, the American barnstormed to victory at the midweek Belgian classic to herald his arrival to the WorldTour.

A rough and tumble classics season, however, is seeing Sheffield recovering from a hard effort Sunday at Paris-Roubaix.

Officials said starts at Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège are possible, but the final rosters are still to be determined for the closing races of the spring classics.

The 20-year-old stepped up in 2023 with a loaded spring calendar. After hitting out with fourth in his season debut at the Santos Tour Down Under, he’s raced all the major races on the spring classics calendar.

Though there haven’t been any wins so far in 2023, Sheffield is gaining valuable experience in the most important races that he’s hopeful will pay off down the road.

“This race is full of action, and that’s why people love watching it. I am happy to finish it, and I can use this for my experience for later editions,” Sheffield said Sunday. “I just didn’t have the legs to stay with that elite group in the final. You have to look at this positively. Every race you can learn something.

“Hopefully one day I can come home with a rock from here.”

After the “opening weekend,” he raced the full Italian block with Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico, and Milan-San Remo.

In Belgium, he raced Gent-Wevelgem, Dwars door Vlaanderen, Tour of Flanders, and Paris-Roubaix. He finished all four, and hit 28th at De Ronde.

A few crashes and heavy racing see Sheffield resting this week, with a few more big hits this spring.

Speaking to VeloNews earlier this season, Sheffield expressed optimism he would be making his Tour de France debut this summer.

Michał Kwiatkowski will headline the squad Wednesday.

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