Elynor Backstedt secures another medal for Great Britain
The 17-year-old finished third in Harrogate.
Great Britain celebrated a second bronze medal in as many days at the UCI Road World Championships in Harrogate as Elynor Backstedt finished third in the women’s junior time trial.
Russian Aigul Gareeva took a wrong turn on the approach to the finish line on Parliament Street but still had the power to win by four seconds from Holland’s Shirin Van Anrooij.
Backstedt, 17, had a scare of her own when she almost lost the backwheel on a slippy patch early on the 14km course but recovered to record a time 10.93 seconds off Gareeva’s winning mark of 22 minutes 16.23 seconds.
“It feels incredible really,” said Backstedt, who took bronze in the same event at last year’s World Championships in Innsbruck.
“To get a bronze medal at a home championships is just pretty incredible with all the crowds.
“Being the last person off that was pretty scary, but the crowds kept me going all the way round so that was really nice. I’m really happy.”
After Sunday’s damp conditions, in which Britain picked up bronze in the mixed team time trial, the sun was shining on Monday but that presented difficulties of its own for riders as a mix of wet and dry roads made cornering treacherous.
It almost cost Backstedt dear as she slid on a sharp turn in Beckwithshaw and only just stayed upright.
“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,” added Backstedt, who is the daughter of former Swedish national champion Magnus and British national champion Megan.
Gareeva’s error was even more startling as she missed the directions being offered by a marshal and rode down an escape road for support vehicles before slamming on the brakes and turning back.
“At the corner I felt like I was blind and everything disappeared,” the 18-year-old said. “I only saw the line forward, with no turn at all. I don’t know what happened.”
Not that it mattered as she powered her way up the climb towards the finish line to narrowly beat Van Anrooij’s time.
In the men’s race, British duo Leo Hayter and Oscar Nilsson-Julien finished eighth and ninth respectively as Antonio Tiberi took victory despite suffering even more problems than Gareeva did.
The Italian did not even make if off the starting ramp before needing a bike change due to a broken chain, and was then caught behind a support car on a narrow section of road when he completed his first lap – with the men doing double the distance of the women.
“I was starting to think it was not my day when on the first lap there were cars and a motorbike in front of me,” Tiberi said.
“I had to slow down only a little bit and I was able to find my way between them. What happened I thought, ‘Just finish the race’, so I concentrated on the race and gave it all I’ve got.”
Hayter had been ahead on some of the early time splits but faded towards the end of the 27.6km test.
“It was hard,” he said. “It was the longest time trial I’ve ever done. I think I might have overcooked it a little bit in the first lap and I just suffered for all of the second lap.”