Zoe Bäckstedt hoping for wet Cyclocross World Championships in Tabor: "That would be perfect, and I'm going to pray for that"

Zoe Bäckstedt will head to the Czech Republic for the Cyclocross World Championships in Tabor on Saturday as the top favourite for overall victory and with it, the rainbow jersey amongst the under-23s.

In an extremely impressive winter campaign, the 19-year-old has taken three podiums in senior UCI World Cup races (Dendermonde, Dublin and Zonhoven), finishing 4th in her most recent outing in Hoogerheide. "Definitely boosts my self-confidence as I approach the World Championship," Backstedt tells IDLProCycling.com. "This holds true for any top-notch performance in a World Cup race, as such occurrences are rare, particularly when competing against the world's top riders."

Looking ahead to the World Championships in Tabor, Backstedt is quietly confident of competing for the win. "Normally, I should be able to compete for the rainbow jersey. If everything goes according to plan, I can claim it," she previews. "However, I am taking into account competitors like Leonie Bentveld, Marie Schreiber, and Kristyna Zemanová. For the latter, it is a home race, so that is always something to watch out for. It is still difficult for me to estimate how significant the differences will be. I dare not make many statements about that."

One thing could definitely benefit Backstedt's chances however, rain. ''It can go either way there," the Welshwoman explains. "For me, it would, of course, be great if it were pouring down from the sky, haha! A bit of a combination of Dendermonde and Dublin. Rain, rain, and more rain during the lead-up, dry and some drizzle during the race – that would be perfect, and I'm going to pray for that."

Place comments



More comments

You are currently seeing only the comments you are notified about, if you want to see all comments from this post, click the button below.

Show all comments