Chantal Blaak is in Hoogerheide for the second time in a row Dutch champion on the road. The 28-year-old world champion of the Boels-Dolmans reed in the final lap away from a first group of ten riders and reached only the finish line. Behind Blaak finished her while his teammate Amy Pieters as the second, Marianne Vos was third.
Blaak has won this year’s Amstel Gold Race and a stage in the Healthy Ageing Tour. The world championship she conquered last year in the Norwegian Mountains in a similar way. Also when she drove at the right time from the breakaway group after a fall early in the race. “It is a ‘feeling’, but you know, of course, never be sure if it will succeed,” she said to the NOS. “I have apparently koersinzicht. Physically, I was always been one of the better, but from a tactical perspective, I’m really grown.”
In the course of over 141 miles opened for Marianne Vos in the final with an attack where they Esther van Veen”. The four-time Dutch champion knew also four ploeggenotes in the group behind, but finished anyway because especially Anna van der Breggen, the third trump card of Boels-Dolmans, the pace of teenagers.
Blaak and Floortje Mackaij, rider of Sunweb, were the next attackers. But an acceleration of Annemiek van Vleuten on a sloping piece meant the end of that attempt. With ten riders in the first group started the final lap. Evy Kuijpers, a clubrenster, tried it and saw Blaak to accost and immediately pass. “It was debilitating, I was actually ready,” said the winner. “But I thought I try it one more time.”
Blaak, which won the rainbow jersey wearing in place of the national jersey, was without the sky-high expectations to Hoogerheide traveled. “I was very relaxed in. I felt good, but we had more assets. I see that Amy’s second, but that was just as well able to win.” The kampioenstrui is for next year. “After the world cup I wear it. In Innsbruck, I see no chances for me.”