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"Both the Giro and the Vuelta would be great. But beyond that I want to be more consistent than last year.”

Photo: Unipublic / Graham Watson


18.12.2015 @ 16:30 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Igor Anton (1983) had to wait almost until Christmas to officially confirm his move to South Africa's Dimension Data which enable him to carry on in the WorldTour after two anonymous years at the Movistar Team. The Basque climber hopes to take this "new opportunity" that he has been offered and show himself on the road.


Dimension Data has finally announced the signing and Anton does not hide that he feels lucky. "The signing has exceeded my expectations with two important points: I will stay in the WorldTour and join a team where I can experience another environment, new and thriving, from Africa which has great ambitions to grow and I can get a different experience. This is a new opportunity and I hope all this will make me find myself again. Something was missing in my cycling. I needed to do this, to get an experience like this," he tells BiciCiclismo.


Like in 2013, it has had to wait until December to find a team. Back then it was the Movistar team which welcomed him after the demise of Euskaltel-Euskadi, and he acknowledges that he thought about retirement. "After such a long wait, there is uncertainty. Not having that security often makes you think that cycling could even come to an end for you. Now I can step back and see that we must seize the opportunities that are becoming increasingly difficult to get. I do not look much beyond this year, you have to enjoy the moment because you never know what's going to happen and now I realize this even more," he admits. "You never get used to it but you have to live with this uncertainty until the end and I think you have to appreciate what you have. Cycling has given me so much and I feel proud and very grateful.


Anton now expects to respond with good performance and results. "I am privileged. Now I have this opportunity which I did not expect. The best way to thank them is by giving everything on the road. I will also be close to people like Omar (Fraile) and Alex Sans. The win in Asturias this year was very important mentally and now I will try to continue down that path. There are races in which I think I still have something to say, some of the WorldTour races like Romandie or Catalunya, where I hope to be good. And it is an incentive to join a new team with a different approach to cycling. At Euskaltel and Movistar I've been surrounded by people that I know but I missed this experience and I hope it will help me to improve," he explains.


He is yet to finalize his calendar but he has his eyes on two grand tours, the Vuelta a Espana where he has won four stages, and the Giro d'Italia where he won on the Zoncolan in 2011 ahead of Contador, Nibali, Scarponi and Menchov. "The calendar is big and there are choices to be made. The Vuelta is one of the dreams – I didn’t do it in 2014 and 2015. This year I was left with honey on the lips. I understand the decision of Movistar Team because there were many candidates and you have to be one hundred percent. I look forward to that race which has given me so much," he says, referring to his two top 10 results, eighth in 2007 and ninth in 2012. He wore the red jersey in 2010 when he crashed out of the race. "The Giro is also in my plans. I am not the type of rider for the Tour. Cavendish and Boasson Hagen will be there and I think that the team will focus on riders with that kind of profile in the Tour. Both the Giro and the Vuelta would be great. But beyond that I want to be more consistent than last year.”


After nine years atEuskaltel-Euskadi, Anton had two seasons wearing the blue jersey of Movistar Team. He does not deny that he failed to present his best version. "I was not uncomfortable at all. Indeed, the adaptation and atmosphere were great. Maybe it was the type of role and I've had a different pressure than I had at Euskaltel. I have had good times at Movistar but obviously I have not been happy with the situation," he says.


His marital status has changed as he is newly married, and enjoyed a trip to Argentina and Italy. "My last race was the Tour of Britain. I have loaded the batteries, I have traveled, I have not gained any weight, I have wanted to train, to take care of myself and that's important. I want to go all out," he confirms.



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