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Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (SD Worx) has announced that she is due to have a baby in May 2023.
The former world champion will join the slowly growing number of female riders that are taking time out of racing to have children since rules were changed in 2020 to require top-tier teams to provide maternity leave.
Trek-Segafredo’s Lizzie Deignan is currently on maternity leave after having her second child, while Elinor Barker (Uno-X) returned to racing in October after having her first child in March.
“A grand adventure is about to begin… We are happy to share the news that we’re expecting baby van den Broek in May 2023. We are super excited and grateful,” Van den Broek-Blaak wrote in an Instagram post.
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Van den Broek-Blaak had planned to retire following the classics this season, having announced her decision in 2020. At the time of her decision, he husband was struggling with his health and she had hoped to stop racing so that she could start a family.
However, she changed her mind at the start of this season and penned a new contract that would continue racing with SD Worx through 2024.
In addition to her husband’s recovery, Van den Broek-Blaak said that the dramatic changes in women’s racing — including the introduction of maternity leave — were behind her decision to keep going.
Maternity leave was introduced in 2020 along with WorldTeam licenses, which required teams to pay a rider 100 percent of their salary for the first three months of maternity leave and then at least 50 percent for the following five months.
New rules set to be introduced for next season will now allow teams to bring on a replacement rider for the duration of the maternity leave, though they cannot already be employed by a WorldTeam or a Continental squad.