Zoe Backstedt has praised her team-mates for helping her secure gold in the Women’s junior road race at the World Championships.
Backstedt broke away with American Kaia Schmidt, and they pulled out a big enough gap to fight out the finish in Flanders.
On the day after she turned 17, Backstedt had the better sprint of the two and was able to secure gold - which followed her silver medal in the time trial.
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Backstedt and Schmidt worked well together, but they were aided by the disrupting forces in the chase group.
Millie Couzens, Madelaine Leech and Flora Perkins positioned themselves towards the front of the chasing group, with their presence preventing the chasers from forming a concerted effort.
It worked superbly, meaning Backstedt and Schmidt had over a minute’s advantage on the final lap - which allowed them to focus on the gold.
Backstedt outsprinted Schmidt in the final 300 metres to secure victory.
‘I can’t believe I've just done that’ – Backstedt after sealing gold
“I have no words at all,” Backstedt said on Eurosport. “I can’t believe I've just done that, it’s probably the hardest race I have ever done.
“I was just trying to keep us moving and keep us away from the group behind.
“I knew I had team-mates in the group and my three other team-mates would be able to help try and get the gap out a little more.
“Once it was about 30 seconds I knew I could hold it.
“We kept communicating and said keep pushing and get ourselves to the line and sprint it out and see what happens. We did that. It came down to a sprint and I just had it.”
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