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Blaak: Collective strength is Boels Dolmans’ secret to success

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Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS), Chantal Blaak (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) and Trixi Worrack (Canyon-SRAM) on the Ronde van Drenthe podium

Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS), Chantal Blaak (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) and Trixi Worrack (Canyon-SRAM) on the Ronde van Drenthe podium
(Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Gracie Elvin, Chantal Blaak and Trixi Worrack on the podium

Gracie Elvin, Chantal Blaak and Trixi Worrack on the podium
(Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Race winner, Chantal Blaak receives a congratulatory hug from breakaway companion, Trixi Worrack at Ronde van Drenthe

Race winner, Chantal Blaak receives a congratulatory hug from breakaway companion, Trixi Worrack at Ronde van Drenthe
(Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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After you... Chantal Blaak and Floortje Mackaij squeeze onto the podium at Ronde van Drenthe

After you... Chantal Blaak and Floortje Mackaij squeeze onto the podium at Ronde van Drenthe
(Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)
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Chantal Blaak leads the peloton on her way to back to back wins at Le Samyn des Dames

Chantal Blaak leads the peloton on her way to back to back wins at Le Samyn des Dames
(Image credit: Sean Robinson/Velofocus)

Chantal Blaak believes that Boels Dolmans’ strong start to the season is down to the team’s collective will to work for each other. The squad have already scored a number of high profile wins this season with Blaak, 26, wining Le Samyn des Dames and Ronde van Drenthe. Her teammate, and world champion, Lizzie Armitstead has also won Omloop Het Volk and Strade Bianche.

“We all want to work for each other because we know if we work for one rider one day then we’ll get it back at some point,” Blaak told Cyclingnews ahead of Sunday’s Trofeo Alfredo Binda.

“We want to go home with another win. I don’t know how long we can keep this successful run going. We said after Strade Bianche that we couldn’t keep it going but then we won Drenthe. Of course, there will be some races when we can’t be successful but we’ll take that, when it happens.”

Blaak has made significant progress over the winter and has hit the ground running in her second season with Boels Dolmans – turning placings into wins. She puts that progression down to a number of key factors.

“I had a really good winter and I’m just happy at the moment. Everything is working. I changed my coach and that’s also helped me make a step forward. Everyone asks me what it’s down to but to be honest I don’t really know if I’m that much better than last year,” she said.

“As a team we make each other stronger. Most of the team has stayed together, and we’ve only added two more riders. It means that we know each other really well. That’s part of the secret because it meant that we didn’t need time to get to know each other. For sure, there will be races when things aren’t perfect but we’ll work on it when that happens.”

The team go into Binda with a stellar line up, including former winner Armitstead, Blaak, Evelyn Stevens, Katarzyna Pawlowska, Karol-Ann Canuel and Megan Guarnier.

“Before the race we don’t know what’s going to happen. For us it doesn’t matter who is up the road or who we work for. The goal is always to win the race. It doesn’t matter who does that for us.”