Chantal Blaak rides SRAM RED eTap to victory after a day of hardship in Norway.
Chantal Blaak of the Netherlands crossed the line of the 2017 Road World Championship in Norway in victory, holding her arms aloft. She then buried her face in her hands in a show of raw joy and emotion. Her day’s journey in Norway had ended with a rainbow jersey, one of cycling’s ultimate treasures.
It was the third straight world title for riders from the Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team (Elizabeth Deignan of Great Britain in 2015 and Amalie Dideriksen of Denmark in 2016), all on SRAM, Quarq, and Zipp.
The solo win was the culmination of a dramatic and complicated day of racing. Blaak entered last weekend’s race with responsibilities to also play a supporting role on a powerhouse Dutch squad that included Boels-Dolmans’ Anna van der Breggen and the legendary Marianne Vos.
Blaak crashed hard in the second half of the race, and her motivation while chasing back was to be there for her teammates. She then launched an attack with 23kms to go, a move that set up the defining moments of the race. After enduring counterattacks from the lead group, Blaak soled the final 8km to victory. Dideriksen finished third to join Blaak on the podium.
“Really, everything happened in this race. I crashed, and I was in a lot of pain in that moment,” Blaak said. “I thought my race was over, but maybe I could come back, and we’d see what I could do. It wasn’t the plan that I should win the race. I wanted to make it the best possible race for the team.”
Blaak rode SRAM RED eTap with a Quarq power meter, Zipp 303 Firecrest wheels, and Zipp Service Course SL bars, stem, and seatpost.
Kristoff So Close to Home Soil Victory
With determined racing on home soil, Alexander Kristoff opened the final sprint in the Elite Men’s Road World Championships and almost pulled off a stunning victory. The Team KATUSHA ALPECIN star came within inches of holding off the sport’s biggest star, Peter Sagan, who won his third straight title. Kristoff rode SRAM RED eTap with Quarq power and Zipp 454 NSW wheels.
Boels-Dolmans Silver in TTT
Defending champs Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team in the team time trial won silver this year. The team was the fastest at the first two time checks before fading to second over the challenging final kilometers. The team used the SRAM RED eTap groupset with eTap Clics extension shift buttons and Quarq power. For wheels, Zipp Super-9 discs with 808 front wheels.
We congratulate Chantal on your world title on Kristoff and Boels-Dolmans on their podium places.
All photos of Elite Women's Race and Team Time Trial © BrakeThrough Media
Photo of Elite Men's Race © Tim de Waele TDWSport.com