Ane Santesteban, a Basque cyclist, has committed to riding for her home team, Laboral Kutxa-Fundación Euskadi for the next three years. As a leading figure in Basque cycling and one of the top female riders on the international stage, Santesteban will serve as the team leader and role model for aspiring Basque sportswomen.
Santesteban’s signing reflects the Basque team’s ambition to be a global cycling powerhouse, competing in top-tier races and recruiting the best Basque talent. Born in Gipuzkoa, Santesteban finished eighth in this year’s Tour de France Femmes and tenth in the Giro Donne. As the highest-ranked rider in the squad, her addition will significantly enhance the team’s performance in international competitions. She aims to continue growing as a professional and solidifying her status as an elite cyclist.
The three-year contract underscores the team’s long-term vision and commitment. Santesteban will play a crucial role in the team’s plans as the leader and focal point, setting an example for young Basque sportswomen seeking to excel at the international level.
“I was really keen to come home. After chasing my dreams elsewhere, I felt like riding at home, and now this chance to grow together with LABORAL Kutxa has arisen. The goal is for us to grow and improve together as riders and as individuals. And where better to do it than here? I have always called for a home team with a place among the elite, and now with LABORAL Kutxa-Fundación Euskadi, we have one. There are a lot of people working for the team, and that is what most attracted me to the project. There are people giving 100% to grow and improve at all levels. Right from the get-go I could see that they really believe in the team, in us, to carry on fighting for equal opportunities. That’s why I’ve signed up for three years: because all changes need time to take root. I’m thrilled to be able to bring to the project the lessons that I have learned so that we can support each other.”Ane Santesteban
Formed in 2019 by Fundación Euskadi, the LABORAL Kutxa team has steadily progressed, becoming a Continental UCI team in 2021. With the long-term sponsorship from Basque cooperative lender Laboral Kutxa and the signing of Ane Santesteban, the team is poised to increase its presence on the world stage and continue fostering the development of young female Basque cyclists.
Aitor Galdós, General Manager of LABORAL Kutxa-Fundación Euskadi, welcomed Santesteban’s arrival, stating that her signing would greatly benefit the team and the riders, setting ambitious goals based on her expertise. Ion Lazkano, Sports Manager, believes that Santesteban’s all-round leadership will be a turning point for the team and the project, raising the group’s standards and encouraging others to grow.
Santesteban’s impressive track record includes participation in 10 Giro Donne races, 10 World Championships, the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2021 Olympics, and multiple Tour de France Femmes and Vuelta Femenina races. The all-rounder has ridden for several teams over her career including, Jayco-AlUla, Ceratizit-WNT, Alé Cipollini and Bizkaia Durango.