News: Zoe Backstedt

SPORZA: One of the brightest talents in British cycle sport, Zoe Backstedt and father Magnus, has been featured by Belgium TV channel Sporza. Here is a translation of that news item…

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News: Zoe Backstedt

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One of the brightest talents in British cycle sport, Zoe Backstedt, has been featured by Belgium TV channel Sporza. Magnus Bäckstedt will undoubtedly ring a bell with many cycling enthusiasts in the UK thanks to his victory in Paris-Roubaix in 2004 and his time racing domestically as well where he was a shining star in the sport and a big personality.

Zoe Bäckstedt meanwhile is barely 17 and already acknowledged as a true purebred in the women’s peloton. Magnus Bäckstedt has never retired from cycling, although his role has evolved somewhat. The 46-year-old Swede regularly dives into the commentary and is also helping his daughters Elynor (20) and Zoe (17). The eldest daughter of the cycling family is a professional at Trek-Segafredo while the youngest of the family (Zoe) continues to accumulate success as a junior. Zoe does this on two wheels in just about every discipline.

Whilst Magnus is from Sweden, Zoe has British nationality thanks to her Welsh mother Megan who herself was a very successful racing cyclist (Megan Hughes). Megan was a British champion on the road (Road Race 1998) as well as a winner in Europe. Megan was also 5th in the Commonwalth Games Points race on the track. Zoe meanwhile became world champion on the road in Leuven for juniors in September and recently won the European Championship cyclo-cross in the Netherlands.

This winter, father Magnus and daughter Zoe are camping in Flanders for the cyclocross season. You can take that literally, because the duo spends the winter in a camper in Geel next to the company of main sponsor Tormans. With that cyclocross team, Zoe Bäckstedt discovers the tricks of the trade. Zoe raced with the elites in Boom on Saturday where was was 9th in a very tough cross. “Zoe: I had to ride with the pros, because there was no cross for juniors here in Boom. I can learn a lot by following the lines of the other riders, by seeing how they approach the obstacles”

“People say I can do anything because I have such a big last name, but I’m just me and I’m doing my best. Although I do want to live up to my name.” The British star talent is a multi-talent, although the combination of off road and road – certainly in the future – is her preference. “Riding in the mud at 2 degrees in winter: I love it.”

Marianne Vos is the idol of the cycling’s young star who is gradually preparing for a switch to the pros. “My agent says a lot of teams are interested and we need to chat. It’s cool that everyone wants to sign me.”

Father Magnus says of it: “She must do it out of love and passion”. Magnus Bäckstedt, father to Zoe during his active career as a colossus with his Tour de France stage wins and the victory in Paris- Roubaix, is proud that his daughter is building her own name. “Whether she is the daughter of me or am I am the father of Zoe, hopefully I will be the latter.”

“She has to develop herself. That’s going well for the time being. I’m not putting any pressure on her. We just say: do your best. What the result is: so be it.”

“It’s like a family fairy tale. “We never exert any pressure. And here we are now. My daughters had to do it because they want to. They have to do it mainly out of love and passion. Then you will go far. Whether Zoe is the next big thing? It’s too early to say, she’s only 17 years old. She’s talented without a doubt, but there’s still a long way to go. She does everything right, she handles it well and she stays and push herself.”

Papa Bäckstedt does not want to divulge too many details about the future plans. “Zo has to figure that out for herself.” “I can be a sounding board, but she has to choose. If she finds the right combination of a team and disciplines and continues to have fun, then it will run smoothly.”

SOURCE: Sporza

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