After a successful 2023 season, the young Italian rider Cristina Tonetti has signed a two-year contract with LABORAL Kutxa-Euskadi Foundation for the 2024 and 2025 seasons. The 21-year-old rider, already a promising talent with Top Girls Fassa Bortolo in 2022 and 2023, will bolster the team’s performance in classic races and time trials. She is competing this week in the Tour de l’Avenir with the Italian national team.
Tonetti has shown early signs of greatness; she’s competed in the last two editions of the Giro d’Italia and has multiple top-ten finishes in UCI races. In 2023, she clinched the Italian team time trial title and finished second in two classic races. Her father, Gianluca Tonetti, was a professional cyclist, adding a generational aspect to her career. Tonetti joins other new signings like Laura Tomasi and new Laboral Kutxa team leader Ane Santesteban for the upcoming seasons.
“I am extremely excited to be a part of this team for the next two years. I see myself as a classics cyclist with good time-trialling capabilities…though my ultimate dream race has always been the Tour of Flanders!” said Cristina Tonetti.
Ion Lazkano, sports director of LABORAL Kutxa-Euskadi Foundation, praised Tonetti’s potential, citing her versatility and adaptability in both medium mountain races and sprints. “Cristina is a young cyclist with immense potential…Moreover, she’s a rider who adapts well to classics, and we’re eager to see how far she can go, given her room for growth and high capabilities. We’re delighted that she chose our team to continue her development.”
Tonetti’s signing adds depth to a team that will include 14 cyclists in 2024. Her addition underscores the growing importance of nurturing young talent in women’s cycling and the intent that Laboral Kutxa has going into the next qualification cycle for the Women’s WorldTour. An increased budget has allowed them to make international signings as the team grows from a smaller Spanish Continental-level outfit into one with a bigger reputation.