By Owen Morgan
Elynor Backstedt claimed Great Britain’s second bronze medal of the UCI World Cycling Championships in Yorkshire on Monday morning.
The 17-year-old Pontyclun cyclist finished third in the junior individual time trial despite almost crashing out when she skidded on an early bend in the slippery road conditions.
Backstedt produced a brilliant ride to finish just 10.93 seconds second down on the winner Aigul Gareeva, of Russia, who also had a mishap when she overshot the final bend of the 13.7km course around Harrogate.
The Welsh rider’s success follows the Great Britain team time trial mixed relay bronze medal on Sunday.
After her own bronze medal winning performance, Backstedt said: “I’m feeling absolutely incredible. I wasn’t really expecting this. Obviously I wanted to win, like everyone wants to win. But on a course like this you never really know what can happen.
“As you probably saw it’s quite slippy out there and I nearly didn’t make it round, so I’m absolutely over the moon.”
Commenting on the bend where she suffered her slip, Backstedt said: “When I got there it was wet and there were leaves all over it so I just braked a bit too late and that caused the back wheel to skid, but luckily I held it up.”
Backstedt, who also won bronze at last year’s World Championships in Innsbruck, said it was a special feeling to compete and win another medal in front of a home crowd.
“It feels incredible really, like to get a bronze medal at a home championships is just pretty incredible with all the crowds,” said Backstedt.
“Everyone cheering me on, with being the last person off that was pretty scary, but the crowds kept me going all the way round so that was really nice. I’m really happy.”
“I saw my family on the side out the corner of my eye as well, so that just gave me a little bit extra to push hard.
“But I was dying by that point, everyone is, it was just a matter of getting yourself to the line as hard as you can.”
The Storey Racing cyclist is the eldest daughter of Tour De France stage winner Magnus Backstedt. Mum, Megan, is a former British Road Race Champion and Welsh Commonwealth Games cyclist.
Younger sister Zoe is also a rider with Storey Racing and is a nine-time national title winner.
Backstedt is due back in action at the World Championships on Friday when she will be joined by Swansea’s Eluned King in the junior women’s road race.
The next Welsh rider in action at the championships will be Ethan Vernon who competes in the Under-23 men’s time trial on Tuesday.
Tour De France winner Geraint Thomas has withdrawn from the elite men’s time trial on Wednesday, but it still due to ride alongside fellow Cardiff rider and Ineos team mate Owain Doull in Sunday’s elite men’s road race.