Loes Gunnewijk: Testimony by Martin Barras

Thu 19 Feb 2015

It was May 2011 and Macca (Dave McPartland) and I were in the process of building GreenEDGE Women for the 2012 season. As we were keen to get a Dutchie on the team we were talking with Johan Lammerts, Dutch National Coach, about who might be interested and available for 2012.

After going through a few names, he pitched in Loes Gunnewijk. Macca and I suddenly became silent. Loes Gunnewijk?  Surely she would not be available? Surely she did not want to leave her team? Surely the Dutchies would prefer to see her on a Dutch team?

“I really think you should talk to her!“

That was that! Loes was one of those riders we had talked about at length during the long hours on the road, well before we knew we had a team to build. We loved her aggressive racing style. But mostly we longed for a team captain of her caliber. For our new team, this was always going to be the first rider to recruit and the one the team would be built around.

Getting her on board was easy: “Here is our project, do you want in?“  ”Yes.”

About a month later, I started discussing with Judith Arndt her possible coming to the team. Judith, being the consummate pro that she is, asked me who would her team mates be:

 “I’ve got Loes Gunnewijk.“

“Oh, so you are serious!“

That pretty much sums it up. Loes is the foundation stone of GreenEDGE Women. She has spent so much time with us in Oz she is now ocKer. She has anchored our team on and off the road for three years and will do so for another season. She is the voice of common sense in our midst and the maniacal enabler of “putting it in the gutter!“ She is the Queen of Zwolle!

So I am both sad and proud to know this will be her last season. Sad as this will mark a changing of the guard for us, as Loes has served us so very well. But also proud as she gets to finish her career with us and, to my mind, that’s the right thing to do.

So screw your hats on and white knuckle those handlebars: We will all see a lot more gutter action this year! And will love every minute of it!

And please come and say ‘G’day mate” to our team captain.