EF Education-TIBCO-SVB are thrilled to announce that Zoe Bäckstedt has signed with the team, stepping up from originally joining as a trainee. The Welsh rider will race with the team for both road and cyclocross.
Though only 17-years-old, Zoe’s cycling career has been well established for quite some time. She is the current junior world champion in both road and cyclocross. It certainly doesn’t hurt that her parents and older sister have all raced professionally.
“My dad [Magnus Bäckstedt] won Paris-Roubaix so for as long as I can remember, he’s ridden a bike. My mum [Megan Hughes] was the British national champion in the road race and has a track bronze medal in the sprint as a junior. My sister has Worlds medals and now rides in the WorldTour. Cycling is in my blood.”
But Zoe’s career as a professional cyclist was not a foregone conclusion.
“It took me a couple of years to get into it, meaning I really hated cycling until I was about 10. And now I love it to bits. I absolutely love it.”
In fact it was Zoe’s insatiable competitive streak that nudged her into the sport.
“My dad always says that when I was little, I used to always go down to the local velodrome when my sister was training and I’d be like, ‘Ugh, I don’t want to ride.’ But he’d take my bike anyway. I’d see someone my age riding around the track and I’d say, ‘Dad! Dad! I want my bike!’ He’d go and get it and then basically I’d jump on the bike, sprint one lap, make sure I passed them, get off the bike, and then stand on the side for the next half an hour. As long as I caught that person, I was happy.”