Zoe Backstedt confirmed her favourite status by winning the Junior road race world title. Already a world champion this week with a huge ride in the individual time trial, Backstedt doubled up with yet another world champion jersey in the road race this morning. It was also another doubling up for Backstedt, with the Brit winning the Juniors world title in 2021’s race in Flanders as well. That year she beat Kaia Schmid in a head-to-head sprint but things were lot simpler in 2022.
The Great Britain team set a high tempo at the beginning of the race but it was a fairly innocuous corner that saw Backstedt fly through it and get the initial gap. From there, the EF-TIBCO-SVB rider just simply rode away from the opposition. By the end of the race, Backstedt had got a gap of just over 2 minutes, the highest time gap for a solo victor in the women’s junior world championships history. An extra fact is Backstedt on this title on her 18th birthday.
Zoe Backstedt joins 3 other junior riders in winning both the time trial and road race at the same world championships. Geneviéve Jeanson did it first in 1999, Nicole Cooke joined her in 2001 and Chloe Dygert in 2015. There are also 3 other riders she joins that have won the juniors road race 2 years in a row – Nicole Cooke again (2000 & 2001), Lucy Garner (2011 & 2012) and Amalie Dideriksen (2013 & 2014).
Behind Backstedt, Nienke Vinke and Eglantine Rayer battled it out for the remaining medal places. It came down to a sprint to the line which the French rider won but both looked happy on the finishing podium. Rayer won the European Championship earlier in the season, the only championship that she hasn’t won this year – Great Britain didn’t send a team to Munich.
Photo credit: Getty Images