In a significant move for the world of women’s cycling, Japanese cyclist Eri Yonamine is set to join the LABORAL Kutxa-Euskadi Foundation in 2024. As a twelve-time national champion, Yonamine possesses a wealth of experience which she’ll be sharing with the team, especially with key rider and new signing Ane Santesteban.
Having competed in Europe at an elite level since 2016, Yonamine’s most recent stint was with the World Tour’s Human Powered Health team. Her participation in prestigious races, coupled with her Olympic appearances in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, makes her a valuable addition to LABORAL Kutxa. The team aspires to reach the World Tour level, and Yonamine’s insights from her past experiences will be pivotal in this endeavour.
Speaking about the move, Eri Yonamine said, “The Euskadi Foundation is a structure with a long history, and joining the LABORAL Kutxa team is the pinnacle of my sports career. I am a hard-working cyclist and I am at the command of the leaders. Therefore, I will extend a large part of my experience to the young cyclists of the team, and I will do my best to help them and help Ane (Santesteban) win. That’s my priority. Above all, I want to thank the team for choosing me and for trusting me.”
Ion Lazkano, the sports manager of the LABORAL Kutxa-Euskadi Foundation, expressed confidence in Yonamine’s capabilities. He stressed her top-class racing experience and is optimistic about what she’ll bring to the team.
Throughout her career, Yonamine’s accomplishments have been noteworthy. Beyond her national titles, she secured second place in the Tour Pyrénées and a commendable 19th in La Vuelta. She has also been part of renowned teams, including Alé Cipollini and Team Tibco.
The 2024 roster for LABORAL Kutxa-Euskadi Foundation, featuring fifteen cyclists, promises a mix of seasoned pros and fresh talent. With Yonamine’s addition, the team looks poised for success in the upcoming season.