Chantal Van Den Broek - Blaak of Netherlands rides during the Team SD Worx 2022 - Training Camp on December 11, 2021 in Denia, Spain. (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Chantal van den Broek Blaak will no longer retire this spring

32-year-old former world champion renews with SD Worx until 2024

Don’t miss out on the latest CyclingTips updates.

Jump To Comments

After originally announcing back in 2020 that she would call time on her career after the 2022 Spring Classics, Chantal van den Broek Blaak revealed that she will now continue to race until the end of 2024. 

“I made a decision in 2020 to stop cycling. I was super clear about it and stood 100% behind it,” van den Broek Blaak said at the 2022 SD Worx team launch on Wednesday afternoon. 

“But then my situation was also different. I was a little bit done with some racing because I needed a bit more of a challenge and I had been racing for a long time already,” she added.

“Plus, my husband at home had a burnout. So it was a pretty difficult time and I realised that health, happiness, and family is the most important of everything.”

However, with the date of her retirement edging closer, van den Broek Blaak realised that she no longer had the same urge to hang up her wheels.

“So I felt like when the date was getting closer it was more difficult…I didn’t feel ready…my situation at home changed,” she continued. “Lars [van den Broek Blaak’s husband] is recovered and I really enjoy riding my bike, I love it every day. I’m still on a good level. I’m still able to train hard. Mentally I can do it, and physically.”

While making her decision, the Strade Bianche 2021 winner called a meeting with the team in which she and her husband explained her renewed enthusiasm to continue “we said… I’m not ready. We were super clear about it.” she explained. “From the beginning they were directly so positive and happy about it.”

“Of course the Tour de France [Femmes avec Zwift] is coming in July and I would stop in May. So May or July it doesn’t really matter, so that was clear. But then I was still doubting and I didn’t know what to do so my family and friends also started asking and Lars said to me ‘you’re not ready to stop so why shouldn’t you continue?’”

Diest – Belgium – wielrennen – cycling – cyclisme – radsport – Chantal Van Den Broek – Blaak (Netherlands / Team SD Worx) pictured during Dwars door het Hageland for women a one day race between Aarschot and Diest (122,3KM) – photo Tim van Wichelen/Cor Vos © 2021

Van den Broek Blaak has been an integral part of the SD Worx line-up since joining the squad in 2015. As well as helping teammates such as Anna van der Breggen to success, the Dutch rider has also achieved myriad individual victories, including the 2017 world road race title in Bergen.

Last year, the 31-year-old won four races including the first round of the Women’s WorldTour, Strade Bianche, and the general classification at the WWT Simac Ladies Tour.

Speaking at the team launch, van den Broek Blaak explained that part of her decision to continue racing was down to her confidence in receiving support from her team should she decide to start a family while still under contract.

“We have a wish to have children one day,” van den Broek Blaak said. “I have the full  support from the team so if we are lucky that everything is falling on the right place I can get pregnant and we can start a family and then try to make a comeback and the team will support me 100%. And if not then not. I don’t want to plan my life like I did before.”

“I feel super relieved and really happy about it. This says everything about the team, I’m home here, I feel comfortable, I’m happy here they’re happy with me so we just see how it’s going now.”