Yorkshire 2019 – Elynor Backstedt spurred to medal by Yorkshire support in Harrogate

A DELIGHTED Elynor Backstedt thanked the Yorkshire crowd after winning Great Britain’s second medal at the UCI Road World Championships.

Great Britain's Elynor Backstedt who won Bronze in the Junior Womens Time Trial through Harrogate. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Backstedt followed the lead set by the team time trial mixed relay squad when she claimed bronze around the same 13.7km Harrogate circuit.

The Welsh rider, who was last off the starting ramp, finished in 22 minutes, 27.16 seconds – 10 seconds behind winner Aigul Gareeva, of Russia and seven adrift of Dutch silver medallist Shirin van Anrooij.

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Watched by her father Magnus, a former Grand Tour rider and Paris–Roubaix winner, Backstedt survived a scare when she almost collided with barriers early on the course. Despite losing several seconds as she battled to stay upright, she was in contention throughout and was cheered home by a passionate crowd on the finishing straight.

TOP THREE: Great Britain's Elynor Backstedt who won bronze in the Junior Womens Time Trial through Harrogate. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Her time was four seconds faster than Italy’s Camilla Alessio, who was fourth.

“It was pretty unbelievable,” said the 17-year-old, who was Britain’s only medallist in Innsbruck a year ago when she finished third in the same race.

“The crowd didn’t stop all the way round, it was great. On the finishing straight it was incredible, the crowd helped me push on and get the bronze.”

The local conditions were less kind. Backstedt, who rode the circuit during this year’s Tour de Yorkshire, said: “In my course recce, the roads had been dry.

“As you probably saw, I almost fell off. In the recce, that corner had been dry and I was able to take it in the skis, but when I got there it was just a bit wet and a bit slippy and I just braked a bit late when I came out of the skis and that caused my back wheel to slide.

“It was pretty difficult with the change of weather and surface, but I think apart from that little mishap I coped with it pretty well.”

Gareeva produced a remarkable performance despite a near-disaster when she went off-course at the bottom of the final climb to the finish line.

“At that corner, I felt like I was blind and everything disappeared,” she recalled. “I only saw the line forward, with no turn at all. I don’t know what happened.”