Skip to main content

Blaak adds her name to Dutch super team with rainbow jersey

Image 1 of 18

World champion Chantal Blaak

World champion Chantal Blaak (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 2 of 18

The selection in the women's race

The selection in the women's race (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 3 of 18

Janneke Ensign (Netherlands) leads an earlier breakaway

Janneke Ensign (Netherlands) leads an earlier breakaway (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 4 of 18

The elite women's road race at the UCI Road World Championships

The elite women's road race at the UCI Road World Championships (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 5 of 18

Norwegian fans cheer on the riders

Norwegian fans cheer on the riders (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 6 of 18

The UCI Road World Championships in Bergen

The UCI Road World Championships in Bergen (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 7 of 18

Amy Pieters in a mid-race move

Amy Pieters in a mid-race move (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 8 of 18

Chantal Blaak (Netherlands)

Chantal Blaak (Netherlands) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 9 of 18

The Australians regroup

The Australians regroup (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 10 of 18

Japan's Eri Yonamine happy with her race

Japan's Eri Yonamine happy with her race (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 11 of 18

Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark) seals third

Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark) seals third (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 12 of 18

Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark) seals third

Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark) seals third (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 13 of 18

Katrin Garfoot (Australia) holds on for silver

Katrin Garfoot (Australia) holds on for silver (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 14 of 18

Chantal Blaak on the attack

Chantal Blaak on the attack (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 15 of 18

Annemiek van Vleuten leads on the climb

Annemiek van Vleuten leads on the climb (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 16 of 18

Katrin Garfoot and Chantal Blaak

Katrin Garfoot and Chantal Blaak (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 17 of 18

Chantal Blaak (Netherlands)

Chantal Blaak (Netherlands) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 18 of 18

Chantal Blaak (Netherlands) wins the women's title

Chantal Blaak (Netherlands) wins the women's title (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Chantal Blaak added her name to the list of great Dutch women racers currently in the peloton, stealing the spotlight from Marianne Vos, Anna van der Breggen, Ellen van Dijk and Annemiek van Vleuten in Bergen and taking the rainbow jersey with a perfectly judged solo attack at the UCI Road World Championships. With Blaak's victory in the elite women's road race, the Netherlands has become the first nation to win three elite titles in one world championships after Van Vleuten and Dumoulin won the individual time trial titles early in the week.

Blaak was the road captain for the Netherlands but made sure she had a licence to attack and used it. When her initial attempt with Hannah Barnes (Great Britain) and Audrey Cordon Ragot (France) was caught after the final climb, Van der Breggen and Van Vleuten were also there, and Blaak attacked again with eight kilometres to go. It was perhaps an attempt to shake up the move but her teammates were exemplary and called the bluff of Katrin Garfoot (Australia) and Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Poland). They refused to lead the chase and so Blaak was able to time trial to victory.

"When I woke up this morning, I was motivated to make it a hard race but I didn't expect I'd be the one to cross the finish line first," Blaak admitted in the post-race press conference.

"This is my biggest victory that's for sure. I dreamed about it happening but it's hard to do it. But you know it's possible, I know I can win big races, everything just needs to be perfect and today it was."

Blaak woke up on a good day but thought her race was over mid-way when she was caught in a crash.

"There's always a bit of drama when I crash and I thought my race was over," Blaak revealed.

"I was in pain and it took me a lot of time to get going again. But I told myself it was last race of the season and that the team needed me. I talked to the girls and we decided to continue the original plan. I’m glad I did."

Proud to be Dutch

Blaak missed out on selection for the Rio Olympic road race due to the strength in depth of the Netherlands squad but she was never discouraged and never wished she had a different passport.

"I should maybe have been at the Olympics but I'm proud to be a Dutch rider. I don't want to change," she said.

"When your country is so strong it makes it difficult to be in the selection. It's never easy but it also gives you opportunities. That's what's nice about it."

"We just have a really strong generation. We're professional and we have training camps together to get to know each other. We have a lot of respect for each other. That's perhaps the secret to our success."