Pieters and Uneken extend contracts with Boels Dolmans
'I've felt right at home with this team' says Uneken
Boels Dolmans announced that they have extended contracts with European Champion Amy Pieters for two years and Lonneke Uneken for four years. The team will change sponsorship titles next year with SD Worx taking over through 2024.
Pieters is also world champion in the Madison on the track alongside her compatriot Kirsten Wild. Boels Dolmans manager Danny Stam said Pieters will focus on the Olympic Games in 2021.
"With the addition of Amy Pieters, we hope to also score big on the track at the Tokyo Olympics next year," he said. "She and Kirsten Wild are the ones to beat in the Madison.
"Amy's road cycling has also shown strong growth in the last two years. She isn't just an ideal team player, her fast sprint means she is also capable of finishing the race. She already triumphed at the Tour of Drenthe, the GP Plouay and the Healthy Ageing Tour.
"Last summer, her excellent performance on the road culminated in the European road title in Alkmaar. I am convinced that over the next two years she will continue to hold her own among the world's best road cyclists."
Pieters said she decided to re-sign her contract for two more seasons so that she could focus mainly on the Tokyo Olympics next year and then focus on a full road season in 2022.
"I consciously signed up for two more years to give me another full season to concentrate on road cycling in 2022. For two years the team gave me the freedom to optimise my focus on the track. I hope to repay them with a strong road season in 2022," she said.
Uneken, 20, turned professional with Hitec in 2019 and then joined Boels Dolmans this year. In her first pro season, she had top-10 finishes at BeNe Ladies Tour, Boels Ladies Tour and Healthy Ageing Tour. This spring, she finished seventh at Le Samyn des Dames. She has a long-term focus on the 2024 Olympic Games.
"She is only 20 years old, but in the two spring races in February she immediately showed her ability to keep up with the best riders on the team," Stam said. "She contributed to an interesting finish at both Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and GP Samyn. I think she may become the 'new' Chantal Blaak. She has the same qualities and is also highly driven. She is a rider who, despite her young age, really knows what she wants."
The team announced earlier this year that SD Worx would take over as the new title sponsor for the next four years. In addition, Anna van der Breggen will retire in 2021 and Chantal Van den Broeck-Blaak will retire in 2022. Both riders will move into director roles on the team.
"My contract of no less than four years serves as proof," Uneken said. "Ever since the first training camp last winter, I've felt right at home with this team. The first competitions went well, and certainly promised more. When Danny Stam made me this offer, I didn't hesitate for a second.
"My first major goal is the 2024 Olympics in Paris. It gives me peace of mind to know that I can work towards it in this familiar environment. It is also a huge advantage that Anna van der Breggen and Chantal Blaak are remaining active in the team leadership and coaching after their careers. It is very special to have such great champions as mentors."
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