There is a mechanic behind every successful cycling team. The hidden guy outside the limelight, that enables the athletes to perform their very best. Meet Mads Severinsen, who is chief mechanic for the Danish Cycling Federation. A real cycling mechanic aficionado.
Dedicated to a Life With Cycling
Mads Severinsen is 25 years old and has already been working as a cycling mechanic for more than 10 years.
“I was in business practice in the end of elementary school. I knew I would go to high school, so I just wanted to try something I thought was really fun; bicycles. So, I got in practice at a local bike shop. And I was immediately spellbound by working with bikes. Not to ride them… Then I get bored too fast. I liked the mechanic part and the sport in general,” says Mads Severinsen, while he works on Amalie Didriksen’s Argon 18 Electron Pro, before her Omnium race at the UCI Track World Championships in Poland 2019.
When Mads finished high school he never looked back, but dedicated everything the profession as a cycling mechanic.
“I participated at his first UCI race in the age of 15 after finishing high school. I has since then been working for Danish teams like Glud & Marstrand and Riwal Platform Cycling Team”, says Mads Severinsen.
In 2016 Mads was attached to the Danish Cycling Federation, where he worked together with Danny Skovgren, who is now Chief Mechanic in United Cycling. When Danny moved to United Cycling, Mads got promoted to Chief Mechanic.
Traveling Around the World
Mads has now been around the world with his tools. He is travelling with the Danish riders for more than 150 days a year!
“In 2018 and the start of 2019 I have been to New Zealand, Canada, China just to name a few … It’s a privilege and I love to see how my work makes a difference for the riders”.
A Logistic Wizard
Mads’s daily work is in the cycling arena in Ballerup, just outside Copenhagen. This is where he is maintaining the Argon 18 Electron Pro bikes and all the other equipment, that the Danish team is using. Securing that all the equipment is in perfect condition. Packing everything and making sure, that is packed and arrives safely at the next destination, ready for the next race. A huge job, when you have more than your own bike to take care of.
“We have 8 riders participating at the UCI World Championships in Poland. For these riders we bring not less than 19 Argon 18 Electron Pro track bikes, 8 of the rider’s personal road bikes, 25 wheels, 50 chain rings and 15 helmets. And that’s just the bigger parts …” says Mads while spreading out his arms and showing his small booth at the inner circle of Pruszków Arena in Poland, where everything has its own spot and where nothing is left to chance. Mads got everything under control.
On the Road to Tokyo
After the World Championships, Mads is driving the 11 hours drive home to Denmark, for then to unpack everything, and then pack it all up again before leaving for the next race. But the next race is by far the final destination for Mads and the rest of the Danish National Track Team.
“The goal in our binoculars is the Olympics in Tokyo 2020. No doubt. And we are already now building up for that. For me it means, that I and our Performance Engineer, Andreas Top Adler, shall pick out and test all possible equipment like bikes, helmets, chains, chain rings, gloves, suits etc. before the end of the year, so we can have it approved by UCI. We are not allowed to use the equipment if it is not approved. So, it is super important that we are careful right now. And we are critical and only take the best with us to Tokyo. We are aiming for medals!” underlines Mads with a big smile.
And it’s easy to say, that the chances are good. Espcicialle seen in the light of the performances at the 2019 World Championships, where Denmark won bronze in the Team Pursuit with Lasse Norman Hansen, Casper von Folsach, Julius Johansen and Rasmus Lund. In the Mens Madison Lasse Norman Hansen and Casper von Folsach took the silver, while Julie Leth and Amalie Didriksen took the bronze in the Women’s Madison.