Swedish pro-cyclist Magnus Bäckstedt – who won the Paris–Roubaix in 2004 and a Tour de France 1998 stage – has earmarked next month’s Abu Dhabi International Triathlon for his global triathlon debut.
The road racing legend and eight-time Tour De France competitor hopes his participation in the March 2nd event will be an inspiration to others, proving it’s never too late to try something new.
Retired in 2009, Magnus struggled with a number of health issues during his top-flight cycling career, including a serious knee injury, melanoma, a separated shoulder and broken collarbone. Not one to let set-backs stand in his way, in 2010 he announced he would come out of retirement to lead the UK Youth Cycling Team along with British F1 supremo Nigel Mansell for UK Youth Charity.
Now the enigmatic Swede is choosing the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) event for his triathlon debut, as he looks to make his mark against one of the world’s strongest line-ups of elites.
Magnus, who is married to Megan Hughes, the Welsh retired track and road racing cyclist, said picking the Abu Dhabi flagship event for his first triathlon title tilt was a good fit after hearing about it on the global circuit.
Magnus is one 10 athletes invited to compete in the fourth Abu Dhabi event as part of organiser TCA Abu Dhabi’s competition to find the most inspirational stories in the sport. The event received over 100 entries from inspirational triathletes globally.
Abu Dhabi is expecting more than 2,000 athletes to compete this year, including many of the world’s top elites.