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"I am happy for this opportunity and also in good condition, with the possibility of doing big races. I really want to do well. You might even say that this return tastes like a kind of revenge. Hopefully everything will go w...

Photo: Sirotti




30.11.2015 @ 07:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Dani Diaz (1989) has returned to Europe after five years, has joined the team which he started his first adventure, Delko Marseille-Provence KTM, and has moved back to Durango in the Basque Country, the town that welcomed him when he rode for Café Baqué in 2010. The Argentinean is now "more mature" and does not want to miss this second chance. "Things have changed," he says. One of his main objectives is the Tour de San Luis, a race he won in 2013 and 2015, beating riders like Alberto Contador, Nairo Quintana, Vincenzo Nibali and Tejay van Garderen.


Dani Diaz traveled to Europe in 2010 and ended up in the Cafe Baque team that was led by Ruben Gorospe and soon made his mark. His got his first professional experience with Geox as a stagiare, and the following year he joined the continental team La Pomme Marseille which has developed into the current Delko Marseille-Provence KTM team in the Pro Continental category. "I am happy for this opportunity and also in good condition, with the possibility of doing big races. I really want to do well. You might even say that this return tastes like a kind of revenge. Hopefully everything will go well this time," he says.


Maybe being too young, he did not adapt to the French atmosphere and returned home. The next year will prove whether things will be different five years later. "It is the right time. Several things came together on a personal level. It is not easy for us to go to Europe, be many months away; one misses home a lot. Now I am more mature, both on a personal and sporting level, and I am also going to live in Durango in the Basque Country, an area that I know and where I was very comfortable, and this will be reflected in the performance. There was also the possibility of Girona. It is always good to have people close to you. Several factors have changed compared to 2011 and I think it will make a difference. Things have definitely changed," he says. "And you can say that these years in Argentina have helped me to build up more energy and the desire to want to take the opportunity as well as possible," he adds.


Interestingly, he returns to the same team known as Delko Marseille-Provence KTM in 2016, now in the Professional Continental category. "Actually, I have always been in contact with them. The relationship was good and not ended badly at all. Already last year we talked about the possibility of returning. This year they found other ressources and we reached an agreement. More teams showed interest but did not convince me," he says.


In South America he rode for San Luis Somos Todos and last year for the Brazilian Funvic team. "The teams in America always have certain limitations as to the level and schedule, except for Team Colombia which rode in Europe. The next step was this and luckily I was given the opportunity,” he says.


One thing does not change: his first goal will be the Tour de San Luis from the 18th to the 24th of January where he will wear dossard number one. "The team wants to start well at the Tour de San Luis and to keep me in the best condition in February and March. I started training with an eye on San Luis and next season. Surely I will do the Giro de San Juan from January 2-10 to prepare and reach the best shape,” he announces.


Back in Europe, he will do the French calendar with GP Marseillaise, Etoile de Besseges and the Tours de Haut Var and Provence. "The team is waiting for the invitation for Paris-Nice. It would be awesome, I wish it will become a reality. I will arrive in Durango in February after the team presentation at the end of January," he says.


He now has the advantage of enjoying the good weather in his home country, "I'm in Santiago del Estero (in the north of Argentina, ed.) in an atypical summer with temperatures between 25 and 28 degrees. Normally it is around 40 degrees," he says. "In a few days I will go to Salta where I am from, on the border to Bolivia, and I will finish my preparation in Jujuy which has more mountains, always thinking about the Tour de San Luis.”



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