Olympic champion Van der Breggen to retire next year

Boels-Dolmans team-mates Chantal van der Broek-Blaak (left) and Anna van der Breggen (right) smile on a podium
Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (left) was the 2017 world champion, Anna van der Breggen (right) succeeded her in 2018

Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen will retire next year and become a coach with Boels-Dolmans.

The Dutch rider, 30, will try to defend her road race title at the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics next summer before ending her racing career.

Compatriot Chantal van den Broek-Blaak, 30, has announced she will retire in the spring of 2022 to take up a coaching role with the team.

“I want to end my career with a great, full season,” said Van der Breggen.

“Especially after this year, which was largely lost due to the coronavirus pandemic, I am enormously motivated to continue for one more year.”

Former world champion Van der Breggen – who has won the Giro Rosa twice and 12 one-day classics, including three ‘monument’ wins – has signed a three-year deal as a sports director and coach, starting after her final year of racing.

She told Dutch broadcaster NOS that part of her decision to race for only one more year is because she “really feels motivation for the Olympic Games, but that feeling is less for all the other competitions”.

Tokyo 2020 is now set to run from 23 July to 8 August, 2021 after being postponed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

SD Worx will take over from Boels-Dolmans as the title sponsor of the team from next season.

Van den Broek-Blaak, who won the 2017 world road race title, will also stay with the team in a coaching role until the end of 2024.

“I’ve been riding for this team for six years and I feel completely at home here,” she said.

“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.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/52618165

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