Zoe Bäckstedt stormed to a resounding win in the female under 23 time trial at the European Championships this afternoon in Drenthe, the Netherlands with a winning time of 24:25.
Coming into the race, the 18-year-old was undoubtedly the favourite to take home the title, and she did it in style putting nearly a minute into Germany’s Antonia Niedermaier who took the runner up spot.
The bronze medal went to Finland’s Anniina Ahtosalo.
Once the racing had got underway, Bäckstedt made light work of her rivals and was half a minute faster than Niedermaier at the first intermediate time check.
Averaging upwards of 48 kilometres per hour, the daughter of former Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Bäckstedt soared around the course and at one point topped 50 kmph leaving the rest of the field with no chance.
A simply stunning ride from @Backstedt_Zoe as she finishes 57 seconds clear of her nearest rival to win the under-23 women's ITT on her return to GB action 💪#EuroRoad23 https://t.co/FTmsMNnVU3September 20, 2023
The 18-year-old has long been considered as one of the most exciting young talents in professional cycling.
It was recently announced that Bäckstedt had signed for Canyon // SRAM - linking up with her father who is a sports director on the German squad - after her previous team EF Education-Tibco-SBV announced that they would fold at the end of the current season.
Bäckstedt initially joined EF last August following on from a hugely impressive junior career in which she was world champion in multiple disciplines.
"I’m excited about the opportunities at Canyon-SRAM Racing. I will get to race with a strong squad and have the freedom to race in any discipline I want to as well," Bäckstedt said in a team press release at the time.
"The team has made a lot of developments in the last year, and you can see that on and off the bike. I really like this; it helped my decision as I like to have a good structure around me.
“I believe I will bring to Canyon-SRAM Racing some more good tunes to the pre-race playlist, my love for the sport and just the fact I’m happy to be at a bike race with my teammates.”
European Championships under 23 female individual time trial results
1. Zoe Bäckstedt (Gbr) in 24-25
2. Antonia Niedermaier (Ger) at 58s
3. Anninna Athosalo (Fin) at 1-34
4. Nora Jencusova (Slo) at 1-36
5. Wilma Aintila (Fin) at 1-38
6. Julie De Wilde (Bel) at 1-41
7. Eglantine Rayer (Fra) at 1-57
8. Maud Rijnbeek (Ned) at 2-00
9. Cedrine Kerbaol (Fra) at 2-02
10. Gaia Masetti (Ita) at 2-06
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