“Everyone wants to win it” - Zoe Bäckstedt dreams of winning Paris-Roubaix 20 years after her father Magnus’ victory at the Hell of the North

In 2004, Magnus Bäckstedt took the biggest win of his career at Paris-Roubaix, taking the victory on the concrete velodrome in a sprint from a four-man group. A few months later, his daughter Zoe was born and now 20 years on she is set to line up at the Hell of the North for the second time in her career with dreams of taking the victory.

Having ridden the race in her debut professional season last year whilst riding with EF Education-TIBCO-SVB, Zoe has now joined forces with Magnus at Canyon//SRAM Racing, where he is one of the team’s sports directors. He will be in the team car at Paris-Roubaix Femmes this weekend and will be looking to use his experience at the race to guide the riders through the various cobbled sectors.

Ahead of the race on Saturday, which will be the fourth edition of the women’s race, Zoe Bäckstedt said in an interview with Road.cc that “it’s Roubaix! Because it’s a new event on the calendar, everyone wants to win it, as much as they can”.

The 19-year-old Welsh rider is tempering her expectations for this year’s edition, but makes no secrets about this being her dream race to win, as he said “I hope to win it one day, for sure. Absolutely. It’s everyone’s dream race to win. One day. Give me a year or two, maybe a little bit more”.

On her expectations for this year’s Hell of the North, she said “You never know what the conditions are going to be like. We’ve done a couple of recons and it’s been quite wet on the cobbles. And when I say quite wet, I mean puddles everywhere, to the point where you couldn’t even see where the cobbles were anymore, so you’re just riding and hoping you don’t fall off. It’s just the unknown, it could rain the day before, it could rain the morning of, changing what you thought the conditions were completely”.

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