Chantal van den Broek-Blaak is embracing a different role in 2023. "Since I am pregnant, I will obviously not race, but I was still there in the winter to help the team where I could. I have a kind of coaching role in the team, helping the young riders where necessary. I am there for them. Sometimes going to another rider is less of a deterrent than going to a team manager when you're struggling with something."
Sports manager Danny Stam agrees. "This is the perfect role for her. Chantal has always been the mother figure within our group, always being the lead in undertaking things, and she will continue to do the same this year. So Chantal is available to the riders if they are stuck on something or want support in putting their money where their mouth is."
The experienced Dutch rider sees it as an investment in her future after her active career. "As an athlete, it is sometimes difficult to help others because of course you also have to focus on your own performance, but now I have all the time I need. I therefore hope I can teach the riders something."
Meanwhile, the Rotterdam native is training at her own pace, as she wants to return to the highest level after her pregnancy. "It means the world to me that I get the chance to make a comeback in the team. Pregnancy is not common in top sport, but I will get all the space and time I need to return. Don't expect me for a while though until 2024. After all, the road back is long and difficult. But first and foremost, I am looking forward to welcoming our baby in May."