Human Powered Health have completed their women’s roster for 2022 with the signing of domestique Eri Yonamine. The 30-year-old from Osaka is the team’s first ever Japanese rider and joins from Team TIBCO – SVB.
Yonamine has raced on Women’s WorldTour teams in the past and is a huge boost for Human Powered Health as the team applies for a license to cycling’s top table.
“I’m excited to be part of a US-based team,” Yonamine said from her hometown in Japan. “It will be great to be in the WorldTour next year and be part of an international roster as Human Powered Health takes this big step.”
The strong rider who thrives during tough races was attracted to Human Powered Health thanks, in part, to the exemplary development of its men’s team.
“I felt that the men’s team was doing well and was developing in Europe year by year, so I feel that the women’s team also has the same potential.”
It’s been a difficult season for the Netherlands-based rider who has been struggling with iliac artery endofibrosis, a thickening of the iliac artery, a condition found more in cyclists than other sportspeople. Following her surgery in October, Yonamine began regaining her on-bike strength but found team attitudes towards rehabilitation tricky.
“The surgery made it difficult to get a contract with a new team,” explained Yonamine. “But Human Powered Health opened the door for me and gave me an opportunity.
“I’m looking forward to riding symptom free and I’m excited to race with young riders who have lots of potential,” she added.
Yonamine has won a combined 11 national road and time trial titles since 2013 and represented Japan in her home Olympics this summer, something she describes as a huge honor. Her streak was broken in October due to the aforementioned surgery, but Yonamine is sure she will “try to get it back.”
A committed teammate, the Japanese finds motivation by sharing in another rider’s victory.
“I can’t win the race, but we can win,” she explains. “I can do something to help a teammate win and that has always motivated me to be a good rider.”
This selfless team ethic is something that women’s team director Joanne Kiesanowski particularly appreciates in Yonamine.
“Eri can bring her years of experience and teamwork in the Euro peloton to us,” said Kiesanowski. “Human Powered Health will provide her with the opportunity to keep on proving herself as an all around racer and she will fit in with her friendly attitude.”
Off the bike Yonamine is well known for her elaborate race tweets (this writer hopes he’s not out of a job), and social media posts about her cooking and coffee expertise.
My summary of yesterday 💭
1. Caught big crash
2. just after team car passed the peloton for following @FaulknerKristen in the brake.
3. My disk brake was bend = my wheel was stuck= Need bike🤯
4. Wait till all rider recover&go from crash. Take gel, still wait…(1/3)
— eri yonamine (@YonamineEri) August 13, 2021
The team looks forward to welcoming Yonamine to its line-up in 2022. This brings an end to the women’s team signings for Human Powered Health. Their first official gathering will be a training camp in Portugal this January.
— Oskar Scarsbrook to rallycycling.com