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"Yesterday I sent the signed contract to the team's headquarters in South Africa. It was not me but I contacted the manager and it was almost done. Now, with the signed contract, I am quieter."

Photo: Unipublic / Graham Watson


16.12.2015 @ 12:14 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

It has been no secret but now it has finally been confirmed: Igor Anton will join Dimension Data in 2016. The Basque rider has signed for one year and so will continue in the WorldTour after failing to receive an extension from the Movistar Team.


The team hasn't confirmed the signing but Anton revealed the news in an interview with Marca.



"Yes, now I am [a Dimension Data rider]," he told the Spanish paper. "Yesterday I sent the signed contract to the team's headquarters in South Africa. It was not me but I contacted the manager and it was almost done. Now, with the signed contract, I am quieter."


Anton is now waiting to receive his new jersey.


"Yes, and the bike," he said. "I still do not have it and do not know if it will be sent to me or if I have to go somewhere to pick it up. I guess so, because I also have to pass the medical examination."



For a long time, it looked like Anton's career was in danger but when Dimension Data received a WorldTour license, a new opportunity turned up.


"It was due to a masseuse who knows me. And thanks to my agent," he said. "The key was that the team got into the WorldTour. They needed a rider like me to expand the roster. They signed me and I am delighted. By now it is very difficult to find a team.


"In fact I was already thinking about retirement. But in the end, I never gave up and that gave me what I wanted, the type of team that I wanted."


Anton was also ready to step down to pro continental level.




"It would have been okay but I preferred a foreign team or a WorldTour team and finally I have both," he said. "I wanted a foreign team to have a different experience. It is not that I did not want to stay. I had good yeare there but this is a new experience.



"If no team had signed me, I would have devoted myself to things I could not do because of the dedication to cycling, like backpacking or more trips into the mountains. I would also working on the mechanical aspects and spend more time with family and friends."


Anton rose to fame at Euskaltel but never found the same level at Movistar.


"The highlight was the Giro that Nairo was yeat. Also my victory this year in Asturias," he said. "I have had to do another job that I was maybe not very used to, but I do not think there's any doubt about my work and dedication. I admit that they expected something more from me and others have done better than me. It is difficult to stay in such a good team. I did not take ,y chance to prove my qualities. I have to do better to be in the Movistar Team.


"The deal was exceptional, with no problem, but I could not prove what I am able o and I received the death penalty. But I'll stick with that triumph in Asturias and say I was in the team that helped Nairo Quintana win his first Giro because surely he will win more."



In his new team, Anton is expected to be one of the GC leaders.


"That pressure is a double-edged sword," he said. "I can have a lot of pressure which I can maybe live up to and maybe not. But I've lived with that pressure at Euskaltel and that sometimes helps to bring out the best. Although I can tell you that I do not think the team depends on me. They are more focused on Cavendish. He will surely deliver most of our wins."


Anton will not be the only Spaniard in the team as he will be joined by new signing Omar Fraile.



"I do not know him much but he is one of those riders who always say hello," he said. "I have chatted with him and I can say that he is a good guy. He is a rider who has also been close to retirement before. It is important for me to be in this project and you can see him grow. I have to adapt and together we will handle it better."


Anton already knows a bit about his schedule.



"The idea is to do the Giro d'Italia. I hope to prepare better than this year," he said. "I did not know well in advance that I was going to do it. Now I know that I will be there and it will make me better. I will also do the Tour of the Basque Country where I've done well and in the home race there are always options. Although, if I'm honest, I have my eyes on Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Fleche Wallonne. I really want to do them again as they are beautiful races."



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