Zoe Backstedt wins junior women’s time trial at Road Cycling World Championships

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Great Britain’s Zoe Backstedt has blown away the field to take victory in the junior women’s time trial at the Road Cycling World Championships in Wollongong, Australia.

The 17-year-old clocked 18 minutes 26.78 seconds over the 14.1km course in New South Wales, some 95km (60 miles) south of Sydney,  to finish one minute 35.58 seconds ahead of Germany’s Justyna Czapla, who was followed by Febe Jooris of Belgium.

Backstedt, who now holds the junior women’s world titles in cyclocross, road race, time trial and Madison, attributed her success to how she handled the pressure of the occasion.

She said: “It feels incredible, I really wanted this one, it means a lot… I’m so happy I could pull it off.

“Out on the course my legs were hurting, but that was a good thing because I knew I was going hard and going strong, just trying to hold my power.

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“If I’m honest, there’s no pressure, I’m young and don’t need pressure put on me. If I do, then it’s not a good thing to have in your mind.

“Before the race I just tried to relax out in the sun. Every race I go into, there’s no pressure. If you mess up, you mess up but if you do well then even better. It’s just all about enjoying it.”

The Welsh cyclist will compete again on Saturday in Illawarra as she looks to retain the road race title she claimed in Flanders last year.

“It’s going to be a tough one, I’m looking forward to it,” she said.

“Now I know what the course is like under a full-gas effort, obviously we have a couple more climbs, but it’s going to be interesting and fun and very early in the morning.

“From the time-trial course, I think the road course suits me, but there’s some steeper climbs put in for the road race, it’s a little longer, there’s some more corners, so anything could happen on the day as well.”

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