Tributes to Loes from her ORICA-AIS teammates

Mon 25 May 2015

As Loes Gunnewijk signs off from professional racing after an amazing 15years today, some of her longer standing ORICA-AIS teammates have taken the time out to congratulate their captain, their teammate and their friend.

To read Loes’ retirement announce, click here.

Emma Johansson

It's not for nothing that Loes received the nickname "moto" from me! 

Not only has she created a lot of damage in the peloton with her sense for when it’s time for some "gutter action" she has also had some very successful attacks solo!

One of many special moments for me is when she directed the team to perfection and I took yellow in the first stage in Thuringen Rundfahrt in 2013, and made sure I stayed in it the whole week! 

We will miss you heaps Loes and I wish you lots and lots of happiness and success in your next chapter in life!

Melissa Hoskins

Loes and I have been in the team since day one and it feels a little like a family member is leaving us.

For the last 3.5years Loes has put blood sweat and tears (quite literally) into every season she has raced and shown the rest of the team what true leadership is. Without fail she has taught me almost everything I need to know to be a successful bike rider. She’s given me the tools to build my future just like she did with hers, I can only hope I’m as successful. 

The greatest memory I have of Loes was in 2012, less than two weeks before the TTT world championships she crashed in a Tour and fractured her rib. I immediately ruled Loes out and assumed the reserve would be taking her place. How wrong I was. You think they breed us tough in Australia!? These Dutchies are just as tough. Loes rode the world titles with a fractured rib and helped myself and the team to a silver medal in the TTT. Showing professionalism, strength, guts and determination I’m proud to say I was there to witness it and be amongst. 

Loes, you’re a true champion on and off the bike, but even more importantly you’re a brilliant teammate and friend. I hope you find happiness and success in your next chapter. 


Gracie Elvin

Loes is one of those special people that you never stop getting to know or learning from.

Even though her reputation of a tough woman precedes her, she wears her heart on her sleeve and is one of the most generous people I've met.

She's brought not just her advanced race skills to the team but invaluable advice and insight on many other things.

She's a smart and caring person who will give everything to her next big goals in life and I hope to share some more experiences with her as a life long friend.

My only advice to her is to keep following your instincts; they've been good so far.

Valentina Scandolara

The other day I had a chat with Loes about an episode that happened two years before I signed for ORICA (2012).

I was sick in a race in France, after a very very full season, and my team didn't allow me to go home... She noticed I was tired and asked me what was happening, and actually lifted my mood up.

So she began helping me back in those days, and from the moment I got in the team she became really important, giving precious advice and a good word just when I needed it.

When she said to us she is going to quit earlier, I was totally upset. I will definitely miss her a whole lot... 

Thank you, and I wish you all the best that you can have from life, super train! =) 

Amanda Spratt

I've been fortunate enough to call Loes a teammate since the beginning of 2012 when we both signed up for GreenEDGE when it was just beginning. I use the word fortunate because that is how I felt at the time and still feel to this day.

I'm sure I’m not alone in highlighting the influence that Loes has had on our team and our development. As team captain Loes has spent the last seasons imparting knowledge and teaching many of us the intricacies of bike racing and tactics, whilst still getting results herself, and I hope to be able to carry what I have learnt on with the team into the future.

There are many memories I will take away from my time as a teammate of Loes, and the best thing about it is there are just as many memories off the bike as there are on the bike.

Her first big victory with the team at Het Nieuwsblad in 2012. Visiting her family farm, meeting her family and cows, and driving a tractor when Drenthe was cancelled because of snow. Making everyone suffer in the crosswinds after Loes decided the time was right. Holiday-ing in the Greek islands with Mel Hoskins and Loes and spending hours laughing together as we rode donkeys up the side of a mountain.

Aside from Loes's obvious contribution and impact on the bike and in the team her connection to Australia and the time she has spent there over the last years means we all think of her as an honorary Aussie these days.  Add to that her happy consumption of Vegemite and flawless use and understanding of Aussie slang and anyone would be forgiven for thinking she has been living in Australia for years. I'm sure it's not the last we will see of Loes in Australia!