15.10.2023 World-Tour, News, Race news
ZOE LEADS U23 CLASSIFICATION AFTER WORLD CUP #1
Zoe Bäckstedt had a storming start to the Cyclo-Cross World Cup season to finish fifth overall and lead the U23 classification yesterday at Waterloo, USA. The strong performance comes on the back of two wins and a second place in her opening three races of the 2023/2024 season.
Zoe won both Major Taylor Cross Cups a week earlier in Indianapolis and was second in muddy conditions at Friday’s Trek CX Cup in Waterloo.
Yesterday’s Cyclo-cross World Cup was the first of fourteen rounds held during the season. Zoe, the British Cyclo-cross national champion, started strongly and quickly settled into fourth place. At the halfway point, Zoe was in a tight battle for fifth place but managed to pull away in the final lap. She crossed the line 2:22 minutes behind the winner, current Cyclo-cross World Champion Fem van Empel. Zoe was 53 seconds ahead of the next U23 rider.
Zoe Bäckstedt: “The course was brutal but really cool! It had a couple of technical sections, with the descent in the woods and the run-up section, but for the rest, it was awesome! It changed so much from Friday’s race to today. It was really thick mud and stuck to the bike a lot, but they had moved the barriers in some places to be able to ride the grass, which was really good. And the crowds were insane!”
“I felt I paced it okay. I went out at a good pace and tried to hold onto the lead three riders for as long as possible, and then from then on, it was fighting for a while. I slowed in the second to last lap and then found some energy in the last one to take fifth place!”
“I’m super happy with the start to my cross-season! It’s so cool to take home the U23 leader jersey too. I’m looking forward to racing it in a few weekend’s time! I wasn’t too sure how the first World Cup would go after a hard end to the road season, but I’m happy with it, and I’ve enjoyed my time in the USA.”
Zoe leads the U23 World Cup general classification after the Waterloo round #1. She will now return to Europe for the remainder of the season, including 13 more rounds of the World Cup series. Her next race is Kiremko Nacht Van Woerden on October 24 and Ruddervoorde Cyclo-cross on October 28, before round #2 of the World Cup series in Maasmechelen.