Joane Somarriba, ambassador for LABORAL Kutxa-Fundación Euskadi



Joane Somarriba, ambassador for LABORAL Kutxa-Fundación Euskadi

  • She will play a part in the team structure in 2023 and 2024 as an advisor, contributing her experience and values.
  • Joane Somarriba: “LABORAL Kutxa's long-term commitment to women's cycling is an exciting prospect”.
  • Aitor Galdós, general manager: “She will help us grow as a team and as a project because of all she has represented and still represents”.


Joane Somarriba will be the new ambassador of the LABORAL Kutxa-Fundación Euskadi women's cycling team in 2023 and 2024. The Basque cyclist, winner of three editions of the Tour de France, two editions of the Giro d'Italia and world champion, will be integrated into the team's structure and will contribute her experience and values to help the women's team grow and compete in elite cycling.

Somarriba (1972, Gatika) accompanied LABORAL Kutxa during the month of May in La Vuelta Femenina, the Itzulia Women and the Durango classic. From now on, she will act as the team's ambassador in the sporting, promotional and commercial fields. Specifically, she will be part of the staff within the sports organisation chart, as an advisor to Ion Lazkano, who will continue at the head of the sports area, sharing her experience, values and knowledge with the team and the riders.

Last year, LABORAL Kutxa extended its commitment to the future of the women's and amateur teams of the Fundación Euskadi for a further six years, until 2029, in order to achieve sustained quantitative and qualitative growth in the coming seasons, with Aitor Galdós taking on the role of general manager of the women's team. The Basque formation took its first steps in the women's peloton in 2019 and made its first leap in 2021 as a UCI Continental team, which has given it guest access to the most prestigious races on the calendar. The goal is to reach the top category of the Women's World Tour. In 2023, it has continued to make progress in that direction: Marta Romeu achieved a historic victory last Friday, the team's first UCI victory in a stage of the Vuelta a Andalucía. The culmination of a few weeks at the highest level.

As a result, Somarriba will become part of an integrating project that is committed to a professionalised model of inclusive values in which the sportswomen of the LABORAL Kutxa team are an example for sport, the social aspect and equal opportunities, and a lever for transformation for the rest of society. In sporting terms, the aim is to reach elite women's cycling and for the team to become an international benchmark, promoting the image of women and giving young female cyclists the opportunity to make their sporting dreams come true.

Joane Somarriba: “LABORAL Kutxa's long-term commitment to women's cycling is an exciting prospect. I have been particularly impressed by the team behind the riders and the passion of those who are part of the LABORAL Kutxa-Fundación Euskadi project. The cyclists have a great opportunity to become real professionals, they have all the means and an extraordinary staff to give one hundred percent and perform. They have everything they need to become cyclists. All of this helps them to grow and that is why the team has taken a leap in recent weeks, it has evolved and improved its performance. In the process it has become a benchmark for all female cyclists from all categories who are dedicated or want to dedicate themselves to this sport.

This new stage is somewhat different from when I was a rider, and after some time away. For me it is very rewarding and a new opportunity to experience cycling again up close. I'm looking forward to learning and, at the same time, contributing, as I empathise a with the female riders. It is a demanding sport that requires a lot of hard work, sacrifice and effort. I know what is behind a professional cyclist who competes at the highest level and I hope to be able to contribute my experience as a rider. Giving advice, but also listening to them and understanding them; for me that is very important. Sometimes we forget that in competition everything is demanding and therefore it is important to know their needs, doubts and concerns".

Aitor Galdós, general manager of LABORAL Kutxa-Fundación Euskadi: "Joane's incorporation into the LABORAL Kutxa-Fundación Euskadi project is obviously very positive for us. She is a rider who has won the Giro, the Tour and the World Championship, and therefore has a unique experience because few riders with such a track record would be able to convey the message of how she has experienced professional cycling. She has been and still is a benchmark in women's cycling. And now having her experience and support is very important, both for the riders and the coaching staff. Without a doubt, she will help us grow as a team and as a project because of all that she has represented and still represents. Her incorporation is one more piece in the project to reach, step by step, the ambitious objectives we have set ourselves to reach the world elite, as well as being a benchmark at a sporting, social and equal opportunities level".

A professional between 1999 and 2006, Somarriba accumulated a record that makes her one of the best female cyclists of all time at world level. Her track record attests to this: three times winner of the Grande Boucle (2000, 2001 and 2003), and third in 2002; twice winner of the Giro d'Italia (1999 and 2000), second in 2005 and third in 2003; world time trial champion in 2003, and second in 2005; third in the 2002 World Championship road race; she also won the Emakumeen Bira (2004) and three consecutive editions of the Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria; she was fifth in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games (time trial) and seventh in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games (road and time trial). Her teams were: Alfa-Lum (1999-2001), Pragma-Deia-Colnago (2002) and Bizkaia-Durango/Bizkaia-Panda (2003-2006). For this, she was recognised with the highest distinctions for a sportswoman: Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sporting Merit, awarded by the Higher Sports Council (2001), Queen Sofia Award (2003) and Best Sportswoman of the Year in Spain (2003).

Her other victories have come off the road. She successfully overcame the serious complications of a herniated disc in 1991 and 1992 and then went all out and emigrated to Italy to fulfil her dream of becoming a professional cyclist. After her cycling career, she is the mother, together with her husband Ramontxu González Arrieta, of Markel (16 years old), 1st year junior; Oinatz (14 years old), youth; and Regina (12), cadet, who are already taking their first steps in the lower categories of the Valentín Uriona Cycling Society of Mungia. A sporting and personal life in which she has stood out for her values of determination, resilience, suffering, courage, determination... And that she will now pass on to the young cyclists of LABORAL Kutxa-Fundación Euskadi in a new chapter of her life.

LABORAL Kutxa 2023: Naia Amondarain, Mireia Arriazu, Ariana Gilabert, Yurani Blanco, Tania Calvo, Idoia Eraso, Lija Laizane, Eider Merino, Usoa Ostolaza, Nadia Quagliotto, Laura Rodríguez, Marta Romeu, Debora Silvestri, Alba Teruel, Aileen Schweikart, Mireia Trías and Eneritz Vadillo.

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