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Backstedt sisters both win at Gent-Wevelgem as Zoe wins under-17 race and Elynor clinches under-19 title

With dad Magnus a Paris-Roubaix winner and mum Megan a GB road champ they have inherited the racing genes

Retired pro cyclist Magnus ​Backstedt’s daughters have ensured a double cause for celebration in the family in Flanders tonight – with both winning their age-group races at Gent-Wevelgem.

In recent years, the Flanders Classic has expanded to comprise no fewer than seven races on the same day – including races for under-19 and under-17 women.

The latter was won by the younger Backstedt sister, Zoë, riding for Storey Racing, the all-female team set up by multiple Paralympic champion Sarah Storey and her husband Barney.

Aged just 14, she attacked the field at the end of the opening lap and rode away to win the race by three minutes.

Two hours later, it was the turn of older sister Elynor, also a member of the Storey Racing team but today riding in the under-19 race for the Great Britain Cycling Team – the family live in Wales, where the girls’ mother, the 1998 British women’s road champion Megan Hughes, was born – to also take a solo victory, by 16 seconds.

In what Storey Racing described as “a picture for the Backstedt family album,” the pair lined up on the podium at the end of the day alongside the winners of the other five races today.

Zoë, far left, was pictured standing next to her sister then, from left to right, women’s elite race winner Kirsten Wild, the men’s elite champion Alexander Kristoff, plus the winners of the men’s under-23, under-19 and under-17 races.

Their father, of course, had form over the cobbles – he won Paris-Roubaix in 2004, the same year he also achieved his best ever placing at Gent-Wevelgem, when he finished second to Tom Boonen.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Zebulebu | 5 years ago

The older Backstedt was in a race with me a couple of weeks back. I climbed off and DNFed when I missed the break and it started snowing. She sat in the bunch and pulled through - didn't bring the break back but she finished near the front of the chase group. Strong as an ox.

the little onion | 5 years ago

Minor point - you say "multiple Paralympic champion Sarah Storey and her husband Barney" - Barney is, of course, a multiple paralympic champion himself.

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