Wales’ rising cycling star Zoe Backstedt has joined top Belgian Cyclocross team Tormans-Acrog.
Backstedt – who turned 16 today (September 24) is making the move after two seasons with Storey Racing where she amassed 120 wins.
The Pontyclun prospect – whose 18-year-old sister Elynor is also among Wales’ next generation of cyclists – has won a succession of titles on the track, road and in cyclo-cross.
“It’s been a fantastic two years with everyone at Storey Racing,” said Backstedt of her time with the team set-up by Britain’s multiple paralympic champ Dame Sarah Storey.
“I’d like to say a big, big thank you to Sarah and Barney Storey for giving me so many opportunities and all their help and knowledge in everything I do!”
“I’ve loved every minute, being with such wonderful teammates who all support each other so much. It’s been an absolute dream team to spend my last years as a youth with.”
Backstedt, who will combine her cycling career with her GCSE’s, is set to make her debut for her new team in Lokeren, Belgium this weekend racing against some of the world’s best cyclocross riders in the first cross event of the season.
“It has been truly fantastic to work with Zoe and be her team mate during the past two years,” said Storey. “Her work ethic and dedication is incredibly inspiring and we have had some fantastic times racing and training together.”
“It is always a very proud moment to see a rider of her ability moving on to a bigger team and we are all excited to follow Zoe’s progress in Belgium.”
Storey’s husband Barney said: “We are so delighted to see Zoe step up to a Belgian team for her first year Junior in 2021.
“Belgium is the home of ‘cross and without doubt the best place to learn and grow. We couldn’t be more proud of the time she has spent with us, but her infectious giggle and drive will be sorely missed.”