Here at VeloVeritas we try to keep our eye on who’s on the ‘up.’ Sometimes the tips come from our pals Dave or Vik and the Flanders kermis circuit – but other times they can be pretty obvious. Magnus Cort Nielsen hails from Horsens in Denmark and rides for the Cult Energy Continental team.
Take the Tour of Denmark for instance; when the 20 year-old from a Danish Continental Team pops up and nicks two stages from under the noses of the World Tour teams – all of whom are without exception ravenous for wins – it’s hard not to take notice.
In 2011 he was Danish Junior Road Race Champion and took two stages in the Junior Peace Race.
Last season in the colours of Concordia he was second in the National U23 road race championship; but this year he’s moved up a level.
He was third in the U23 Tour of Flanders, won stages in the U23 Thuringen Rundfahrt and Tour de la Province de Liege – and of course took two stages and ninth on GC in Denmark.
We spoke to him the week after he achieved the biggest results of his life.
Who are your cycling role models, Magnus?
“I don’t really have any role models; but I do admire my team mate Michael Valgren Andersen who is at the same level as me, but a year older and a year ahead of me – he’s won the U23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège the last two years.”
Tell us about Concordia 2012 please.
“It was a fine team for me where I was allowed to ride plenty of races and often take my own chances.
“But maybe they didn’t ride so well as a team unit.”
Cult Energy looks like a good team?
“Yes I have been very happy to ride for Team Cult Energy.
“I have learned a lot and there has been support from the whole team, throughout the year.”
You were third in the U23 Flanders – a big result.
“It was a great feeling to cross that line; but of course you should never really be happy unless you have won.
“But after a while I was pleased with the third place; and at the time it was my biggest result as an U23.”
What’s your favourite type of race and parcours?
“I really like to watch the northern classics on TV; those kind of courses look like the ones I’d like to ride – and I’ve also liked riding the tougher U23 races.”
What was your and the team’s expectation going in to the Tour of Denmark?
“We had a few riders that would try to ride for an overall top 10 – and I had to go for hills jersey.
“And also try to see what I could be on the fourth stage.”
You were away all day in the break – a hard way to win Stage One of the Denmark Tour.
“Yes I never thought that I could win the stage until we got into the last kilometre.
“It was a hard day and I was really tired the next day.”
You and your team defended the jersey on Stage Two – not easy with the World Tour teams there.
“Yes, and maybe we were also a little bit lucky that the field all came home together for the finish.”
You lost the jersey on Stage Three – with hindsight, did you make any mistakes?
“Maybe I should have tried to get into the large break away of 25-30 riders but that would have taken a lot of effort – probably too much for me to defend the lead successfully.”
Stage Four and you popped back up to win!
“Yes it was crazy and not at all easy to understand – I attacked inside the last kilometre and managed to hold on.”
Were you happy with your time trial?
“I’m normally not good at time trials so I would say that the ride wasn’t good or bad, it just was okay to drop 46 seconds.”
The Denmark Tour generated big crowds – did you get a lot of Media attention from your ride?
“Yes, I’ve never been so much in demand from the Media before.”
You must have had interest from big teams after your ride?
“Yes a little, I have an agent but we have made no decisions yet.”
How is your programme for the rest of 2013?
“I ride the Tour the Fjords in Norway, the Tour de l’Avenir – where I hope to do well on a stage or two – and the U23 Worlds.
“And also a few more races here in the Denmark.”
You must believe that you can come back and win the Denmark Tour, one day?
“Yes, it would be a really great race to win for me in the future.”