Zoe Bäckstedt: 'I got a bit emotional. I was 18 and crossing the line to win my fifth world title'

Our female rider of the year, Zoe Bäckstedt, opens up about family rivalries, winning rainbow jerseys and her favourite Netflix shows to binge

Zoe Bäckstedt crosses the line at the world championships with her hand over her mouth
(Image credit: Getty)

As her father and 2004 Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus potters around behind her, Zoe Bäckstedt struggles to pinpoint exactly what it is that makes her so much better than other 18-year-olds. She does, after all, have not one but four world titles to her name right now. 

“Honestly, I couldn’t tell you,” she tells Cycling Weekly from her winter home in the Flemish countryside. “I get part of my cycling skills from my parents, obviously my dad winning Roubaix, my mum being national road champion, things like that.”

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Tom Davidson
Senior News Writer

Tom joined Cycling Weekly as a news and features writer in the summer of 2022, having previously contributed as a freelancer. He is the host of The TT Podcast, which covers both the men's and women's pelotons and has featured a number of prominent British riders. 

An enthusiastic cyclist himself, Tom likes it most when the road goes uphill and actively seeks out double-figure gradients on his rides. 

He's also fluent in French and Spanish and holds a master's degree in International Journalism.