Zoe Bäckstedt headlines British Cycling squad for Cyclo-cross European Championships

2021 junior European champion Backstedt moved up to under 23 ranks after clean sweep of junior world champion titles this year

Zoe Backstedt
(Image credit: SW Pix)

British Cycling has confirmed its 20-strong squad for the upcoming UEC Cyclocross European championships taking place in Namur, Belgium from 4-6 November. 

The 2021 junior European champion Zoe Bäckstedt has been moved up the the under-23 ranks this season. 

Bäckstedt has had a remarkable year in all cycling disciplines, which has seen her win a variety of junior world championship jerseys. 

Millie Couzens and Ella Maclean-Howell will join Bäckstedt in the under-23 ranks. 

Anna Kay and Thomas Mein dominated the early rounds of this year’s national calendar, and will take to the start line in Belgium this weekend.

Kay claimed an under-23 European silver medal in 2019, while Mein claimed his own in 2020, and both will be hoping to make it onto the elite podiums after top 20 placings at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup round in Tabor earlier this month. 

Mein will be joined by Toby Barnes in the Elite Men’s category, who was leading the National Trophy Series this year until a mechanical setback at last weekend’s round in South Shields.

The under 23 men’s team consists of Ben Chilton, Rory McGuire, Huw Buck Jones and Bjoern Koerdt. All have taken top 10 finishes in this year’s national trophy series and will be joined in Belgium by Joseph Smith. 

Oli Akers will be flying the flag for Great Britain in the junior men’s category. Akers has already claimed wins at both national and international level and will be joined by Alife Amey, Jacob Bush and Max Greensill. 

Matt Ellis, Great Britain cycling team cyclo-cross coordinator, said: “We’re heading into the European Championships with a young and really exciting group of bike riders, who are showing great potential. They have had a string of recent successes and are motivated and excited to showcase what they can do on this bigger stage.

“The GBCT squad has seen a real rise in talent in recent years and this event will give us a good benchmark of performances ahead of the world championships early in the new year.”

The junior women kick off the racing on Saturday, followed by the under-23 men and elite women, with the junior men, under-23 women, and elite men racing on Sunday.

The full Great Britain Cycling team for the UEC Cyclocross European championships is as follows: 

Elite Women

Anna Kay

Elite Men

Thomas Mein
Toby Barnes

Under-23 Women

Ella Maclean-Howell
Zoe Backstedt
Millie Couzens

Under-23 Men

Joseph Smith
Bjoern Koerdt
Huw Buck Jones
Ben Chilton
Rory McGuire

Junior Women

Cat Ferguson
Libby Bell
Imogen Wolff
Alice Colling
Elizabeth McKinnon

Junior Men

Oli Akers
Alfie Amey
Jacob Bush
Max Greensill

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