A commanding display of strength by Zoe Bäckstedt has clinched the Briton a solo victory in the 2023 European Cyclo-cross Championships U23 Women’s race ahead of Marie Schreiber (Luxembourg) and Kristyna Zemanova (Czech Republic).
Fifth in the same event last year, 12 months on Backstedt was simply unstoppable, breaking away early and crossing the finish line a full 34 seconds clear of her closest rival.
Already the current British National Cyclo-cross champion and former Junior World Champion in the same discipline, Bäckstedt’s latest European triumph comes after taking the U23 Time Trial Euro’ title earlier this autumn.
On Sunday’s cyclo-cross race, an early move of four containing Schreiber, Bäckstedt, Lucia Bramati (Italy) and Dutch rider Léonie Bentveld quickly shrank to a duo of the top two podium finishers.
Schreiber then made a lone bid for freedom on the second lap, but she was quickly superceded by Bäckstedt, who moved ahead solo of her closest rival.
Such was her dominance that the Briton was clearly en route to the win, with the only issue to be resolved who would be joining her on the podium and the last lap becoming a victory lap of honour for Bäckstedt in all but name.
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