Chantal Van den Broek-Blaak is a very well-known name in women's cycling and that is hardly a surprise. The former world champion has a high-profile victory almost every year. This was no different in 2021, when she added the Strade Bianche title to her trophy case. “My Strade Bianche win was partly a surprise. I knew I had it in me to win the race, but I didn't know I was capable of such a great performance so early on in the season.”
The Tour of Flanders is Blaak's favourite race. Winning it in 2020 was one of the true highlights of her career. She had already won the Amstel Gold Race, and this year she will be going for Paris-Roubaix. It should come as no surprise that Blaak is once again one of the names to look out for this season. She is road captain and always manages to create a great team atmosphere. “It feels great to be one of the more experienced riders. I feel it is important to pass on my experience. Sometimes I feel old (laughs), but in general I prefer the situation I am now to being a newcomer,” Blaak says with a smile.
The plan was that Blaak would ride for the SD Worx team until the spring of 2022 and then take her place in the team car like Anna van der Breggen. However, the rider from Rotterdam decided to add another full season. “Chantal is an indispensable asset to us. She is not afraid to take the lead on the bike. Thanks to her experience, she can pick up on small things and gives instructions to others where necessary. She has great insight into the race and is a master to our younger talent,” sporting director Danny Stam emphasises. “She is also a guardian of Team SD Worx's culture. It is good not to see all the team's DNA leaving at the same time to take on another role. I am sure that Chantal will also be one of the season's great names of 2022.”