A cycling team is made up of many ingredients, with each rider playing their own essential role. There is, of course, the team leader, whose primary objective is to bring home victory. And then there is the team captain, who is a liaison between the sports directors and the riders on the road. And of course there are the support riders. But some riders play additional roles, and one of the unseen roles a cyclist can play is that of point man between the riders and the different equipment suppliers. On the EF Education–EasyPost team, Magnus Cort is one of those riders.
The 29-year-old Dane is well known to cycling fans as one of the peloton’s best stage hunters. An opportunistic rider with a strong sprint, he can blow the race open at unexpected times. But he is also appreciated within the team as a rider who keeps his eye on equipment and gives constant feedback to the team’s partners that serves to improve the products.
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Such roles are never defined in a team, but they often come naturally to a rider with a technical mind. “I was really into the bike as a kid,” Cort explained as he prepared for the start of this year’s Giro d’Italia, while the race was still in Budapest. “Growing up, I didn’t have a lot of money but I bought all my equipment. I would spend hours sitting on the web trying to find the right piece of equipment for the right price, trying to build the best bike for the money.”
His passion for the bike itself served him well as he initially started working as a bike mechanic before turning professional. “I worked on bikes for two years, until I got my first continental team contract that paid me enough to quit my job. As a result I know a lot about the bikes themselves.” Cort admits that the modern racing bike has changed immensely since his days working as a wrench. But he still keeps a close eye on the evolution of products. “Disc brakes, electronic shifting, all those things didn’t exist on road bikes when I was working in a shop.”
In his unofficial role as point man, Cort communicates constantly with Andreas Klier, EF Education sports director, as well as the team mechanics regarding the team’s equipment, be it the Cannondale frames, Full Speed Ahead components or Vision wheels. “I enjoy giving my feedback on the products,” said Cort. “If something doesn’t work I tell them. If something could be better I tell them. But I am always asking the mechanics or the guys at FSA when I see them, just what new things are coming out, and when. I always love getting new products to try.”
One area where Cort feels some of his input has contributed to a better product is with the Vision wheels the team has used for the past five seasons. “The wheels are just getting so fast,” he said. “I think the tubeless tires have been a huge upgrade. They just make a huge difference. I can be sitting in the pack, going at the same speed as everyone, and still have to brake just because my bike is rolling faster. It’s incredible.”