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A little over a week after announcing new contract arrangements with Anna van der Breggen and Chantal Blaak, the Boels-Dolmans squad has made further moves to secure its future, extending reigning European road champion Amy Pieters as well as up-and-comer Lonneke Uneken.
Pieters, 28, is a versatile talent who can contend on a variety of profiles as well as on the track. She has nabbed four WorldTour wins since the start of the 2018 season, in addition to taking the European road title in Alkmaar last August.
Having joined the team in 2017, she is now set to ride on with the squad, which will be known as SD Worx starting next year, through 2022.
“She isn’t just an ideal team player, her fast sprint means she is also capable of finishing the race,” said team director Danny Stam in a press release. “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 is expected to focus on the Olympics next year.
Uneken, meanwhile, has extended her contract through the 2024 season. Stam had high praise for the 20-year-old Dutchwoman, who joined the team this year after turning pro with Hitec products in 2019.
“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.”
Uneken said that the 2024 Olympics are a big goal for her moving forward.
“It gives me peace of mind to know that I can work towards it in this familiar environment,” she said. “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.”