Zoe Backstedt dominates in the Ethias Cross Essen mud

Zoe Backstedt wins the Ethias Cross Essen
Zoe Backstedt wins the Ethias Cross Essen (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

17-year-old Zoe Backstedt (Vondelmolen-De Ceuster) won the elite women’s race in Essen, leading the race from start to finish in the cold and mud as she continued to show her prodigious talents.

Backstedt got the holeshot at the start and so led onto the early bridge. Other riders were slowed after a crash on the steps and the riders were soon lined out with gaps growing after every section of mud. 

The deep mud sections on parts of the course forced the rides to pace their effort and run for far longer than usual in cyclo-cross races. Backstedt is the junior road race world champion and the European junior cyclo-cross champion and used her power to dominate the race. 

She stepped up a level to win the elite women’s race, taking advantage of the absence of a number of elite women who are in Italy for the Val di Sole World Cup race.  

Laura Verdonschot (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) finished 1:04 behind Backstedt, with Britain’s Anna Kay (Starcasino) third at 1:36.

“I got the holeshot and so was first onto the bridge. That helped me get out front,” Backstedt explained. 

“However all the running gave me pain in my back but it was a fun course. The water was so deep that my front wheel went in and I almost went over the bars. 

“This win gives me confidence after two hard weeks of training to get ready for the World Cup races coming up. It’ll be good going into the junior race with the leader’s jersey.” 

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Zoe Backstedt (GBr) Tormans CX 0:50:51
2Laura Verdonschot (Bel) Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal 0:01:04
3Anna Kay (GBr) Starcasino CX Team 0:01:36
4Fauve Bastiaenssen (Bel) BNS Technics - Groep T.O.M 0:02:25
5Jana Dobbelaere (Bel) Starcasino CX Team 0:03:21
6Marthe Truyen (Bel) IKO - Crelan 0:03:53
7Julie De Wilde (Bel) IKO - Crelan 0:04:12
8Ellen Van Loy (Bel) 0:04:18
9Maud Kaptheijns (Ned) CX Team Deschacht-group Hens-containers Maes 0:05:15
10Mirre Knaven (Ned) 0:05:27
11Lara Defour (Bel) 0:06:23
12Meg De Bruyne (Bel) 0:06:35
13Shana Maes (Bel) Tormans - Circus Cyclo Cross Team 0:07:08
14Susanne Meistrok (Ned) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini CT 0:07:28
15Loes Sels (Bel) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini CT 0:07:35
16Lauren Molengraaf (Ned) 0:08:16
17Elodie Kuijper (Ned)
18Kim Van De Steene (Bel) 0:08:49
19Rosanne Breugelmans (Bel) BNS Technics - Groep T.O.M 0:09:01
20Laura Greenhalgh (GBr) VeloRevolution WPcycles 0:09:04
21Sterre Vervloet (Bel) 0:09:05
22Floor Van Elsacker (Bel) 0:09:38
23Caren Commissaris (Bel)
24Christine Verdonck (Bel)
25Cato Cassiers (Bel) Starcasino CX Team
26Senne Knaven (Bel)
27Febe Schokkaert (Bel)
28Lotte Baele (Bel)
29Iris Offerein (Ned)
30Tinne Vermeiren (Bel)
31Kiona Dhont (Bel)
32Marlies Vos (Ned)
33Tine Rombouts (Bel)
34Lies´L Schevenels (Bel)
35Rosita Reijnhout (Ned)
36Michelle Schätti (Swi)
37Esther van der Burg (Ned) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini CT
38Marthe Goossens (Bel)
39Isa Pieterse (Ned)
40Fien Masure (Bel)
41An-Sofie Marien (Bel)
42Tessa Zwaenepoel (Bel) Proximus - Alphamotorhomes - Doltcini CT
43Nele De Vos (Bel)
44Sara Beeckmans (Bel)
45Sterre Hendrickx (Bel)
46Didi De Vries (Ned)
47Danique Van Espelo (Ned)
48Lore Sas (Bel)
49Indy Van Os (Ned)
50Lieke Van Weereld (Ned)
51Marie Van De Kerkhof (Bel)
52Anoek Kuijpers (Ned)
53Jolisa Verschueren (Bel)
DNFMarie Schreiber (Lux) Tormans - Circus Cyclo Cross Team
DNFNienke Vinke (Ned)
DNFFamke Van Waterschoot (Ned)
DNFJana Van Der Veken (Bel)

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Stephen Farrand
Head of News

Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has been Head of News at Cyclingnews since 2022, before which he held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and CyclingWeekly, among other publications.

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