Lonneke Uneken battling back to full race fitness

Lonneke Uneken continues her comeback after a difficult period, marked by illness and overtraining. The 24-year-old SD Worx-Protime rider spoke to WielerFlits about her progress and ambitions.

“It’s difficult to put a percentage on how far I’ve come, but I feel I’m still making progress and getting closer to my old level,” Uneken said. “The most important thing is that I keep making strides. It would be great if that could show in a race again.”

In the Veenendaal-Veenendaal race, Uneken had an opportunity to demonstrate her progress. With the absence of key riders Lotte Kopecky and Lorena Wiebes, Uneken was poised to sprint in the finale of the Dutch UCI 1.1 race. Unfortunately, she fell in the final lap, finishing in 78th place.

Uneken is now focusing on the Thüringen Ladies Tour and the Dutch National Championships in Arnhem. “I want to show myself again there,” she stated.

Reflecting on her current form, Uneken commented, “I’m not there yet, but I’ve been on an upward trend. I hope to ride a good race today.” Discussing her tough year, she added, “I had Pfeiffer’s disease and overtraining. It’s hard to say what percentage of my maximum I’m at, but I feel I’m still taking steps forward. I don’t know what percentage I’m at, but I’m mainly focused on continuing to improve. It would be nice if that shows in the race again, starting with today in Veenendaal.”

Regarding the race strategy, Uneken mentioned, “We don’t have a clear team leader today with Kopecky and Wiebes absent, which might give me chances in a sprint. We’re starting with four strong riders and many fast ones. We’re open to different strategies and will decide during the race how to approach the finale.”

Looking ahead, Uneken shared her goals, “I’ll be satisfied if I feel I can show what I’m capable of again. From there, I hope to build towards the National Championships and Thüringen. This race could be a good stepping stone in that direction.”