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Lorena Wiebes joins Team Sunweb

 Lorena Wiebes in her new Team Sunweb colours
Lorena Wiebes in her new Team Sunweb colours (Image credit: Team Sunweb)

Lorena Wiebes has joined Team Sunweb after leaving Team Parkhotel Valkenburg by mutual consent, signing a four-year contract with the team until the end of 2024.

The 21-year-old Dutch national champion turned professional with Parkhotel Valkenburg in 2018, signing a contract that lasted until 2021. Her attempts to extricate herself from that agreement and so race with a WorldTour team saw Parkhotel Valkenburg launch legal proceedings against her. 

In January, Wiebes and Parkhotel Valkenburg reached a settlement that avoided a court hearing as she agreed to remain with the team on a temporary basis. As of Monday, she was free to sign elsewhere and Team Sunweb quickly confirmed her signing.

"I’m really motivated to be a part of Team Sunweb to grow together and continue my development as a rider," explained Wiebes. 

"This is a very professional top sports environment for me to do that and I’m confident that the people around me will help bring me to the next level. I’m looking forward to getting back to racing when it is safe for everyone to do so and making my first appearance for the team. Knowing that day will come keeps me motivated to train during these unusual and challenging times."

Wiebes won 15 races in 2019, including all three stages and the overall classification at the Tour of Chongming Island, the RideLondon Classique, two stages at the Boels Ladies Tour and the Dutch road race championships. 

She ended the season as the number one rider in the UCI World Rankings. The Dutchwoman claimed one victory in 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic interrupted competition, beating Marta Bastianelli to win Omloop van het Hageland.

"Lorena is one of the most up and coming riders of her generation and she helps take our Women’s program to the next level," Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans said. 

"When she made the transition from juniors up to the elite-level she made a huge step in her development and her sprint talents brought her immediate success. She’s also continued to make progress in the classics which gives us confidence that she will be a key-rider for us as she develops. Lorena is only 21 years old and will still take time to grow as a rider; we are looking forward to being there to support her in that progression in the coming years."

The Team Sunweb roster includes Coryn Rivera, Floortje Mackaij and Liane Lippert but the arrival of Wiebes greatly strengthens the team for the rescheduled 2020 women's race calendar.