Zoe Backstedt outsprints the American Kaia Schmid in tense junior women’s road race

Backstedt and Schmid attacked together at 30km to go before the Brit went one-better than the silver she scored in Tuesday's TT.

Photo: Getty Images

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Zoe Backstedt (Great Britain) outsprinted Kaia Schmid (USA) after a nervy junior women’s road race Saturday.

The pair went off the front mid-way through the 75km race and weren’t caught after working together to distance a strong chase group.

The rainbow jersey came down to a final sprint as Backstedt went up against the American climber, and it was the British rouleur and time trialist that brought home the jersey.

“I have no words at all, I can’t believe I’ve just done that,” she said shortly after crossing the line. “It was probably the hardest race I’ve ever done.”


Linda Riedmann (Germany) won the sprint for bronze from the group behind, with Makayla Macpherson making it two in the top-five for USA with her kick for the line.

Zoe, daughter of Paris-Roubaix champion and Tour de France stage-winner Magnus, also placed second in the time trial earlier this week. After only turning 17 on Friday, Backstedt will have a lot to celebrate on her return to the UK.

Backstedt and Schmid had ridden a tactically savvy race after they went clear in the third lap of five. The pair played to each other’s strengths on the hilly course and shared the work well to open an unbridgable gap on the chasers before letting the final lap decide the world champion.

“I was just trying to keep us away from the group behind. I had teammates in the group so I knew that they’d be able to help get the gap out a bit more – once we had 30 seconds I knew we could hold it,” Backstedt said. “We kept communicating and decided to just take it to the line and sprint it out and see what happens in the last lap.”

Backstedt and the British team had piled on the pressure through the front-half of the race, and it was the former’s move in the third of five laps that forced the selection. The Brit kicked away from the lead group at 32km to go and it was only Schmid that could follow the surge.


The duo worked together perfectly through the final to winch out a lead of more than 90 seconds from a chase group of two-dozen riders dominated by Dutch and British racers. With only one American in the chase, the three British riders were quick to shut down the moves to keep Backstedt out front.

The final laps saw Backstedt and Schmid locked together, content to ride it out for a sprint.

The two rode shoulder-to-shoulder through the grinding final kilometer in Leuven, cagily waiting for the other to open the final kick. It was Backstedt who went first and Schmid jumped a split-second after. There was almost nothing to separate the two for the opening pedalstrokes, but it was the final 10 meters that made the difference as Backstedt turned on the burners to win by a length.

World Championships WJ - Road Race Results

1BÄCKSTEDT ZoeGreat Britain1:55:33
2SCHMID KaiaUnited States0:00
3RIEDMANN LindaGermany0:57
4UIJEN EliseNetherlands0:57
5MACPHERSON MakaylaUnited States0:57
6COUZENS MillieGreat Britain0:57
7VANHOVE MarithBelgium0:57
8RAYER EglantineFrance0:57
9CIABOCCO EleonoraItaly0:57
10GEURTS MijntjeNetherlands0:57
11VALGONEN ValeriaRussia1:02
12PERKINS FloraGreat Britain1:03
13VAN DER MEIDEN AnnaNetherlands1:05
14BARALE FrancescaItaly1:05
15VAN DE WETERING CarolaNetherlands1:15
16LEECH MadelaineGreat Britain1:15
17EBRAS ElisabethEstonia1:16
18AHTOSALO AnniinaFinland1:16
19SANDER Laura LizetteEstonia1:16
20TASANE ElinaEstonia1:16
21IVANCHENKO AlenaRussia1:16
22AINTILA WilmaFinland1:16
23TRÉGOUËT MaurèneFrance4:30
24CUMMINS OliviaUnited States4:30
25ANDERSON Solbjørk MinkeDenmark4:30
26BOULAIS FlavieFrance4:30
27LINTHOUDT JadeBelgium4:30
28EBERLE LanaGermany4:30
29DAUMAS NoémieFrance4:30
30DE GRANDIS MichelaItaly4:30
31RÜETSCHI NoëlleSwitzerland4:30
32RUIZ PÉREZ LuciaSpain4:30
33LANTZSCH SelmaGermany5:28
34KURNICKÁ TerezaSlovakia6:04
35HENDRICKX JulieBelgium6:04
36CIPRESSI CarlottaItaly6:04
37MUL MalwinaPoland6:04
38GOMES SofiaPortugal6:04
39GONZALEZ KarenColombia6:04
40SIMON JetteGermany6:04
41HUBER LeaSwitzerland6:04
42VINKE NienkeNetherlands6:04
43ZIMMERMANN FionaSwitzerland6:04
44BATYRBEKOVA BotaKazakhstan6:04
46SZALIŃSKA TamaraPoland6:04
47ROJAS Laura DanielaColombia6:04
48GAIFULLINA KarinaRussia6:04
49VIVAR AnaEcuador6:04
50LOPEZ GabrielaColombia6:04
51SODERQVIST KarinSweden6:04
52KVASNIČKOVÁ EliškaCzech Republic6:04
53LUND VictoriaDenmark6:28
54KARIMOVA SofiyaUzbekistan6:28
55MARTINI JohannaAustria6:28
56RÅNES BYE CamillaNorway6:28
57GALOF PijaSlovenia6:28
58REIER KirkeEstonia6:28
59ROXO BeatrizPortugal6:28
60ERMANE-MARCENKO EvelinaLatvia6:28
61WALKER IslaCanada6:28
62SCHMIDSBERGER DanielaAustria6:28
63STRAINYTĖ AukseLithuania6:28
64KLOPPER SonicaSouth Africa6:28
65TORRES Serena JeanetteEl Salvador6:28
66MORENO Sara JulianaColombia6:28
67KUSKOVA AnnaUzbekistan6:28
68AUERBACH-LIND LauraDenmark6:28
69FEYTOU IlonaFrance6:37
70WINTERBERG JolineSwitzerland6:39
71MOROZ NušaSlovenia6:43
72BÁRTOVÁ GabrielaCzech Republic10:09
73MOISEEVA AlinaRussia10:09
74KAZAKOVA ViolettaKazakhstan10:09
75REBRAKOVA OlenaUkraine10:11
76NIEDERMAIER AntoniaGermany10:11
77CORDOVA NicoleMexico10:11
78BOBNAR NikaSlovenia11:49
79PATRICK ChloeUnited States11:49
80LOZANO DanielaMexico11:51
81O'BRIEN AoifeIreland11:51
82MASURE FienBelgium11:51
83KOUKOUMA EleniCyprus11:51
84BATESON ChloeSouth Africa11:51
85FERNANDEZ NaroaSpain11:51
86TONKOVA IvanaBulgaria11:55
87BASILICO ValentinaItaly11:56
88ČIŠECKÁ MiriamaSlovakia11:58
89MARUSCHUK AllaUkraine12:41
90LAFORCE OdaNorway13:40
91BENGTSSON FeliciaSweden13:40
92GRINBERG YelizavetaKazakhstan16:10
93KOLYZHUK AnnaUkraine16:10
94STRAKŠYTĖ KotrynaLithuania16:10

Results provided by ProCyclingStats.

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