“Here is Noa. Already so loved,” writes Van den Broek-Blaak on Instagram. The girl’s full name is Noa Brigitte van den Broek.
The 33-year-old SD Worx rider decided to stop cycling in 2020 because of her desire to have children. Last year she reversed her decision and her goal now is to get back in the peloton. Her contract runs until at least 2024.
SD Worx gave Van den Broek-Blaak every opportunity to fulfill her childhood wish. “It is great that this team gives me the opportunity to be a mother and a top athlete,” said Van den Broek-Blaak at the time. “You don’t have to choose when you can be both.”
In addition to her world title in 2017, Van den Broek-Blaak also won the Amstel Gold Race (2018), the Tour of Flanders (2020) and Strade Bianche (2021). Last summer she rode the Tour de France Femmes.
She is not the first rider to go on maternity leave. Britain’s Lizzie Deignan preceded her and returned to the highest level, with her win in the first women’s edition of Paris-Roubaix as icing on the cake.