• Chantal Blaak celebrates during the 21st Boels Rental Ladies Tour 2018, Stage 5 a 158,4km stage in Sittard (Getty)Source: Getty
Chantal Blaak soloed to her final victory in the reigning world champion's strip on Stage 5 of the Boels Ladies Tour in Sittard, the Netherlands. Mitchelton-Scott's Annemiek Van Vleuten remains in the orange jersey.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
Boels - Dolmans Cycling Team
2 Sep 2018 - 3:03 PM  UPDATED 2 Sep 2018 - 3:13 PM

The rainbow garlanded Blaak launched from the day's break on the final climb of the 158km stage through the Limburg hills. It's her fourth victory since winning the 2017 title in Norway including the Netherlands' road championships and Amstel Gold. 

"I am very happy with this," the world champion said. "It was a very long day in the break."

The lumpy and long parcours saw numerous early attacks from teams desperate for representation in any successful escape. Blaak soon got away with Roxane Knetemann (Alé Cipollini), Eugenie Duval (FDJ-NA-Futuroscope) and Pernille Matthiesen (Team Sunweb). 

"I was actually just in the break to put the pressure on the other teams, because we hoped to be able to jump up in the GC,” Said Blaak. “Megan [Guarnier], Anna [van der Breggen] and Amy [Pieters] were still in the top 15 overall, so we were mainly concerned with forcing other teams to work. It was just my job today to keep on riding."

After enjoying a maximum advantage of just over three minutes for a time, the leaders were joined by Blaak's team mate Amalie Dideriksen, Janneke Ensing (Alé Cipollini) and Charlotte Becker (Team Hitec) with 50kms to the finish. 

"It was great when Amalie joined, because she was a great back-up," said Blaak. "Then everyone started to look at each other. I knew Amalie was in good shape, so you know you can attack, because it's controlled from behind.”

“In the final, I was already feeling that it really wasn’t going to work,” explained Blaak. “So I was told: 'Chantal, just go and try one more time'. That last climb was a perfect moment. So I attacked and got off the front on my last day in the rainbow jersey."

"Being able to finish off my year in the rainbow like this, that's just cool.”

It's Boels-Dolmans' third victory in as many stages after Diderksen won stages 3 and 4. The race continues with the final stage, a 18km ITT in Roosendaal.