Zoe Backstedt Makes GB Team For Cyclo-cross European Championships

MAASMECHELEN, BELGIUM - OCTOBER 29: Jane Zoe Backstedt of The United Kingdom and Team Canyon//Sram Racing competes during the 2nd UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup Maasmechelen 2023 - Women's Elite on October 29, 2023 in Maasmechelen, Belgium. (Photo by Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

Zoe Backstedt Makes GB Team For Cyclo-cross European Championships


By Hannah Blackwell

Zoe Backstedt has been included in the Great Britain team to compete in the 2023 UEC Cyclo-cross European Championships this weekend.

The Welsh rider will be in Pont-Chateau, France, to compete as part of an 11-strong mix of experienced and debutant riders, all vying to take a place on the podium to give an early boost to their cyclo-cross season.

After finishing fifth in last year’s under-23 event, and a first and second place in this year’s cyclo-cross World Cup rounds so far, 19-year-old Backstedt will be among the favourites for the under-23 women’s podium.

The Pontyclun teenager struck cycling gold in September when she won the women’s U23 race at the European Road Cycling Championships in the Netherlands.

Matt Ellis, Cyclo-cross Co-ordinator for the Great Britain Cycling Team said: “With the cyclo-cross season now well underway, I’m excited to take such a strong team out to France to see what they can deliver on the European stage and use this opportunity to see how they’re performing so far in the season.

“It’s exciting to have such a mixed group to select from, with experienced riders such as Thomas Mein and Anna Kay alongside riders moving their way through the ranks and making their mark along the way, like Zoe Backstedt and Cat Ferguson.

“To be able to enter teams of such calibre, with well-seasoned pros and debutants experiencing their first European championships, shows the strength of talent coming through the pathways, as well as the impeccable coaching and support staff that work tirelessly to develop and support these riders to achieve their full potential.”


The elite categories will be contested by cyclo-cross stalwarts Thomas Mein and Cameron Mason in the men’s category and Anna Kay in the women’s.

Mein has had a great start to his domestic season, taking two out of three wins to lead the National Trophy Series after three rounds.

Mason enters the event in good form after a top 10 finish in the second world cup round of the season in Maasmechelen, while Kay kicked off her cross season by taking three straight wins in the Hope Supercross, a home victory at the second round of the National Trophy Series, and a top 10 in the Telenet Superprestige Vlaamse Druivencross Overijse.

Current National Trophy Series runner-up Dan Barnes will compete in the under-23 men’s event.

After finishing fourth at last year’s European championships, Cat Ferguson will be looking to kick off her final year as a junior with a podium.

Teammate Imogen Wolff will also be vying for a medal after taking first and second place finishes in the first two rounds of the National Trophy Series.

Last year’s junior national champion Seb Grindley will head up the junior men’s squad, alongside debutants Lewis Tinsley, Oscar Amey and Jamie Stewart.

Josh Tarling And Zoe Backstedt Strike Gold For GB In Netherlands

Great Britain Cycling Team squad for the 2023 UEC Cyclo-cross European Championships:

Elite Men
Thomas Mein
Cameron Mason

Elite Women
Anna Kay

Under-23 Men
Dan Barnes

Under-23 Women
Zoe Backstedt

Junior Men
Seb Grindley
Lewis Tinsley
Oscar Amey
Jamie Stewart

Junior Women
Cat Ferguson
Imogen Wolff

The competition kicks off on Friday 3 Nobember with the team relay event from 2.15pm UK time. Saturday will see the junior women (10am), under-23 men (12:30) and elite women (2pm) contest the European jersey, while junior men (10am), under-23 women (12:30pm) and elite men (2pm) take to the start line on Sunday. The under-23 and elite races will be shown live on Discovery+ and you can follow the British Cycling channels for highlights across the weekend.


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