Anna Van der Breggen and Chantal Blaak future team leaders of the SD Worx cycling team
10 May 2020
Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen and her colleague Chantal Blaak have extended their contract with the Boels-Dolmans cycling team and will therefore continue to part of the team with SD Worx as the new main sponsor. Van der Breggen will continue to be active as a rider in 2021 and will again focus on the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year. In the three years that follow she will continue to be involved with the team as a team leader/coach. Blaak will be riding for the team that wears the colours of SD Worx until the spring of 2022, and will then also join the team leader's car until the end of 2024.
Team Manager Erwin Janssen is pleased that both riders will continue to be part of the best women's cycling team in the world: ”It's nice that we can report some positive news during these difficult times for top-level sports. With Van der Breggen and Blaak, who have helped form the DNA of the team these past years, we are signing two world-class riders to be part of the team for the long-term. With these two taking on a leadership role, our team will continue to grow. ”
The current team leader Danny Stam will continue to advance as sports manager within the organisation, but the North-Holland native will also certainly be active in the team leader car during several major events. ”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. 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.”
Anna van der Breggen (30) wants to ride one more good year before ending her active career. ”The Olympic Games in Tokyo are, of course, a great challenge and an important reason for continuing another year," says the defending champion of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. ”I also 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. 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. I look forward to helping our cyclists become even better. I hope I can provide more guidance in the areas of science, nutrition and mental support. I am certain we can improve in these areas.”
Chantal Blaak (30) was one of the road captains of the Boels-Dolmans formation.”It is a compliment for me to be seen as one of the mainstays of this team”, says the 2017 world champion of the road. ”I've been riding for this team for six years and I feel completely at home here. I see it as a big opportunity that after spring 2021, I will be able to continue working with Anna as team leaders of the SD Worx cycling team. In women's cycling, it is not common for cyclists to make this step into coaching after their active career. We know that we need to grow further as a team. The level of competition is constantly going up. I particularly like the direct approach to coaching, training and nutrition. After all, we want to continue to be the number one women's cycling in the world.”
“We are very excited about this news," says Kobe Verdonck, CEO of SD Worx. “With their years of high-level experience, Anna and Chantal are perfectly positioned to take on their new role with the SD Worx Cycling Team. They know racing like no other, and now they can pass on this expertise to the other cyclists as a leader and coach. We wish them lots of success with their career switch and are also very happy, of course, that we will still be able to see them race with the team in the coming period.”