Zoe Backstedt celebrates her victory in the first World Cup Cyclo-cross junior women's race in the Czech Republic. Pic: Getty Images

Welsh Cycling Ace Zoe Backstedt’s World Champs Dream Wrecked By COVID-19 Crisis

By Gareth James

Zoe Backstedt’s  junior Cyclo-cross World Championship hopes have been wrecked by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Pontyclun teenager has seen the junior races due to take place in Belgium  later this month scrapped because of the on-going COVID-19 crisis.

The worlds will still go ahead on 30 and 31 January in Ostend but only for the elite and under 23 categories.

“The competent authorities of Belgium have confirmed that both the Elite and Under 23 races for men and women at the 2021 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships can go ahead as scheduled on 30 and 31 January in Ostend,” a statement from UCI, the sport’s governing body, said.

“However, due to the current pandemic (Covid-19) linked to the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the Men Junior and Women Junior races will be cancelled.”

Backstedt stormed to victory for Britain in the inaugural junior women’s World Cup race in Tabor in the Czech Republic in early December.

The 16-year-old had won by 11 seconds from her rivals to underline her status as one of Britain’s top cycling prospects.

But Backstedt then saw the World Cup junior races programme devastated by the pandemic with several rounds cancelled – and now has seen the World Championships scrubbed.

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