Chantal van den Broek-Blaak returns to racing after giving birth

Dutchwoman back in SD Worx kit at Naaldwijk criterium in the Netherlands

Clock09:00, Wednesday 16th August 2023
Chantal van den Broek-Blaak last raced at the Simac Ladies Tour in September 2022

© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images

Chantal van den Broek-Blaak last raced at the Simac Ladies Tour in September 2022

SD Worx’s Chantal van den Broek-Blaak made her initial return to racing after pregnancy on Tuesday evening, taking part in the Duo Criterium in Naaldwijk, the Netherlands, with teammate Femke Markus.

Van den Broek-Blaak had not raced since September 2022, revealing in the off season that she was pregnant with her first child. She gave birth to a daughter in May.

The Duo Criterium, a post-Tour de France Femmes criterium that is raced in pairs and features three omnium-style races, saw the 33-year-old back in action for the first time this year, racing in a pair with her SD Worx teammate and compatriot Femke Markus.

Other big names in the women’s peloton, such as Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) and Riejanne Markus (Jumbo-Visma), were also racing in Naaldwijk.

Despite not racing, Chantal van den Broek-Blaak has not been totally absent from the WorldTour circuit this season, joining SD Worx in the team car as an assistant director during some of the earlier races.

There is no date set yet for the former world champion’s return to UCI-level or WorldTour racing, but her participation on Tuesday seems to be the first step towards a full return to racing.

Van den Broek-Blaak’s current contract with SD Worx runs to the end of 2024, having been extended under the proviso that she could take a period out to have a child.

The Dutchwoman is the first SD Worx rider to go on maternity leave since the UCI introduced proper maternity provisions for WorldTour teams, and she follows the likes of Lizzie Deignan (Lidl-Trek) and Elinor Barker (Uno-X) as riders who have returned to racing after having children.

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