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Magnus Maximus: It’s All Over
It’s all over, the ‘Emperor Denis’ adds Spain to his Empire, but Sanchez serves warning that home resistance is strong; it may be different orange-clad adventurers which takes the spoils in the next battle for Spain. Meanwhile, Magnus talks to us for the last time, before he goes on his travels…

PEZ: How did that last sprint, into Madrid go Magnus?

Magnus: I was well-placed, but it wasn’t there when I tried to open-up, to be honest, my heart wasn’t really in it, the race was over.

PEZ: Saturday’s time trial didn’t go as well as you hoped?

Magnus: No, but I think the organisers got my first split wrong, I checked it on my SRM and I wasn’t as fast as they said I was at the first check, that ties-in with how I felt, I didn’t start at 100% but I wanted to finish strongly. I felt good, but all the GC guys were giving it everything, I felt the ride I did deserved a better placing, but there were a lot of guys fighting to keep their placings.

PEZ: Your Vuelta high spot?

Magnus: In terms of positions, it was good to get up-there in those sprints, but for me, it was very satisfying the way I was going in some of the mountain stages. If you take Friday, it was slated to be a killer-stage because it was short with a mountain top finish, but I didn’t struggle at all.

PEZ: And the lows?

Magnus: Nothing really bad, just the first couple of days, that heat was difficult to deal with, we’d been accustomed to 20 degrees, then all of a sudden it was 30-plus.

PEZ: How’s morale in Liquigas?

Magnus: Yeah, very good, despite that fact that there are two of us leaving at the end of the year, we’ve been very close-knit. I’ve really enjoyed working for Beltran, he’s a legend in the bunch, not just as a rider, but as a man, he’s just such a good guy.

PEZ: Who has impressed you?

Magnus: Sanchez, he’s very classy and complete as a rider. Bennati just seems to be getting quicker and quicker; I feel he’ll be ruling the roost in sprints for a few years to come. My team mate, Vanotti has impressed me too; I’m surprised that the Italians aren’t taking him to the Worlds.

PEZ: Menchov was quite a conservative winner?

Magnus: That’s how you win a three week tour, once you get the jersey, you do the minimum every day and you let your team do as much of the work as possible and you don’t let yourself get isolated. He’s a very classy rider.

PEZ: What are you going to do with that great form?

Magnus: There’s not much left on my calendar, Paris-Tours, but that’s not for a few weeks. I’m going to have a few days easy at home; then it’s off to Interbike. I always go to that – I like to meet my US fans and look after my sponsors. After that it’s on to the track at Newport in Wales, about 20 minutes from my home, the Swedish track team is coming over to train and I’ll be working with them before we go to the track World Cups. I want to get a qualifying time for the Olympics this winter, that’s one of my goals. I’ve done some pretty rapid times without any specialist training and I’m hoping that if I do pursuit-specific work, then I can go a lot quicker.

PEZ: Will we see another crack at the derny hour record?

Magnus: Not this winter, I toyed with the idea of going for the ‘athlete’s’ hour, but I have a lot of commitments this winter. I going to visit my family in Sweden, my sister hasn’t been well, and now that the season is over, I want to spend some time with her.

PEZ: Does the Vuelta have a big post-race ‘bash?’

Magnus: No, we’re just going down to have some dinner, I want to keep fresh, I’ve got a lot of travelling over the next few days.

PEZ: Magnus, thank you so much for your time during the Vuelta, you’ve been the model of professionalism with us and we’d like to wish you ‘all the best’ for the rest of the season.

Magnus: Thank you, it was my pleasure.

Well, that’s it, no more; “as Magnus was just saying to me, last night . . .


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