Anna van der Breggen and Chantal van den Broek-Blaak have announced they will retire in the next two years and move into leadership roles within the Boels-Dolmans team.
The Dutch pair both signed contract extensions with Boels-Dolmans, which will become SD Worx in 2021, with Van der Breggen planning to stop racing after the Tokyo Olympics next year while Van den Broek-Blaak will climb off for good in the spring of 2022.
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The two former world road race champions will then become full-time coaches for the team up until at least 2024, when both will still be in their early thirties.
Van der Breggen, who will be 31 when she retires, explains the decision is partly down to her not feeling as much motivation for other races apart from the Olympic road race.
“I notice that I really feel that motivation for the Olympic Games but that it is sometimes a little less for the other competitions,” she said. “And I think that as a top athlete you really need to have that motivation, feel from the deepest point: I want to win.”
For Van den Broek-Blaak, she says she wants to stop when she is still competing at the highest level and the opportunity comes at a good time for her.
I really want to stop at the highest level, so when do you stop? That is a difficult choice, but I think this is a very nice moment,” she said.
Danny Stam, who is currently a sports director with Boels-Dolmans, says the team are trendsetters in the women’s peloton for bringing their own riders in to DS after retiring.
“With the men it is quite normal for ex-riders to be guided, but with the women it is a shake and see you soon”, he said. “I think we are quite trendsetters that we include our standard-bearers in the guidance.”