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Former World Champions Van der Breggen and Blaak announce retirement dates

Joe Robinson
11 May 2020

Dutch duo set to take up positions in team car as both call time on careers

Former World Champions Anna Van der Breggen and Chantal Blaak have announced their retirement dates. The Boels-Dolmans duo confirmed that they would hang up their wheels at the end of 2021 and the Spring of 2022 respectively before taking up director sportif positions within the team, due to change name to SD Worx Cycling.

The announcement of a retirement date comes as a surprise considering both Van der Breggen and Blaak are just 30 years old.

This will see the pair stop racing aged just 31 and 32, relatively young compared to the likes of compatriot and rival Annemiek van Vleuten, 37, who is still racing.

Van der Breggen will race through to the end of 2021 in an attempt to defend her Olympic road race title in Tokyo, postponed to 2021 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

After that, she will begin a three-year contract with the squad in the team car, working as a team director and coach.

'I want to end my career with a great, full season. Especially after this year, which was largely lost due to the corona pandemic, I am enormously motivated to continue for one more year,' explained Van der Breggen.

'I've been thinking about a role as team leader/coach for some time. I was quickly excited about the team's proposal. I had gradually come to realise that I was looking for a new challenge in my life. In 2021, I want to get the best out of myself on my bike for one more season. After that, I will focus on this new job.'

Similarly, Blaak will stop racing in the Spring of 2022 to join Van der Breggen in the SD Worx team car with a contract through to the end of 2024.

For current team manager Danny Stam, the move of Van der Breggen and Blaak into the team staff could be a 'revolutionary step' for women's cycling. 

'As a team, we want to improve every year, and we must continue to take steps in the areas of coaching, nutrition, materials and training, among others,' said Stam.

'For women's cycling, allowing two of our best riders to advance to coaching is a revolutionary step. We have all the confidence in the world that with their input as team leader/coach, we will be able to raise the bar again.'

One of the final targets for both riders will likely be the newly introduced Women's Paris-Roubaix, set to make its debut on 25th October, a race that would not only suit both riders but also round off their illustrious palmares.

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