Blaak announces two-year extension with Boels Dolmans at team presentation - Gallery

Deignan to focus on Worlds

Chantal Blaak, the current road world champion, announced that she has extended with Boels Dolmans for two more years, taking her contract through to the end of 2020. Former world champion Lizzie Deignan also revealed that she will target the UCI Road World Championships in Austria in September, among other bigger races.

The announcements were made while riders were on stage at the team's official presentation, which was shown via a live video feed on the team's Facebook page.

Director Danny Stam has also extended with the team for two more years.

The full team roster was in attendance at the presentation as Blaak was joined by British road champion Deignan and Luxembourg champion Christine Majerus, Women’s WorldTour winner Anna van der Breggen, Karol-Ann Canuel, Amalie Dideriksen, Megan Guarnier, Amy Pieters, Jip van den Bos, Anna Plichta and Skylar Schneider.

"I'm super excited to be here because it is an excellent opportunity and I want to make the most of it," said newcomer Schneider, who got a call-up to the team after winning a stage at the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour in 2017. "I want to learn everything I can and help the team."

Schneider's compatriot Guarnier said that she is hoping to have a better season after recovering from injuries last February and again at the World Championships in September. "I started with a concussion and ended with a broken jaw," said Guarnier, who hopes to do well in the spring Classics and the Giro Rosa this year. "There was success in there. The team supported me and they were there for me. It was a good feeling - a family on the bike."

The team revealed their main team goal for 2018, which is to repeat the successful season they had last year, and to take back the world title in the team time trial.

Deignan said that she had an up-and-down season with illness but that she was proud of her season because she fought until the end. "I'm proud that I contributed to so many victories for our team. You can't always have good times, there are bad times too and you have to get over them."

She will focus on the World Championships in Austria in September, among other races on the Women's WorldTour during the year. "I hope for a good season in 2018. The World Championships is always a goal for me. I like the biggest races, the biggest stages, and where there are a lot of crowds."

It was a dream season for Blaak, who won the world title in the women's road race at the UCI Road World Championships in Bergen in September. She took a solo victory ahead of runner-up Katrin Garfoot (Australia) and third-placed Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark).

During the 2017 season, the team pulled together 28 victories. The most prestigious were van der Breggen's Ardennes Classics sweep, and titles at the Women's Tour of California and Giro Rosa. In addition, Deignan won the Tour de Yorkshire and GP de Plouay, Majerus won Festival Elsy Jacobs.

Although the team won team time trials at the Healthy Ageing Tour, Giro Rosa and at Crescent Vargarda, they were not able to defend their world title in Bergen, where Team Sunweb won.

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