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" I feel I have much to give and I can deliver something important to a team. It would be a dream to ride the Tour de France. I never stop dreaming and I still believe that I can get to ride there."

Photo: Sirotti

DANIEL RICARDO DÍAZ

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TOUR DE SAN LUIS

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26.01.2015 @ 13:24 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

"This is still a dream." The sentence sums up the Tour de San Luis for Daniel Diaz. A year ago when he finished his frustrating 2014 edition of the race, the Argentinean began thinking about a revenge and this year he returned with the desire to repeat his 2013 victory.

 

Diaz prepared better than ever. "In July I started a gradual work, thinking about this race. I wanted to win and I knew I could do it, but not without the best preparation," he told San Luis Agency while surrounded by lots of people wanting to congratulate him. Diaz had been champion in 2013, an achievement that until today has been his best. “It is the greatest achievement of my career." 

 

But the win was not enough for him to jump into the WorldTour and he got discouraged. He lost the desire and motivation. But last yar’s failure spurred him on and made him change his focus. He planned his revenge with the Funvic team which he joined after he left San Luis Somos Todos."I changed my mind and started to enjoy cycling again. I cleaned my head and now enjoy the suffering. All this was noted in my performance," he said.

 

The preparation in Brazil and Argentina was special. "I set some goals but always thinking of San Luis in January, with the dream of winning again. It was what motivated me every day, in every workout. Luckily I had no health problems or injuries. I went on a training camp and did things without going crazy. I noticed that it paid off. It also helped me that I already knew that I had won and could do it again,” he said.

 

He realized that he was in with a shot after the first mountain stage to Mirador del Potrero on the second day. “I had a good feeling and my legs responded well. By gaining many seconds on my rivals, I realized that I would have very god chances,” he said.

 

“I did think that I could beat the best climbers in the world and now I live like a dream. Quintana is the best in the world and to beat him in this race is incredible, regardless how you have done it. When he attacked a few times and I could respond, it was an amazing feeling. Like when I was up against Contador in  2013.

 

“It is a joy, a confirmation that 2013 was no fluke, I feel I have much to give.

 

"The team knew it would be strong in the mountains. It was great to win the three hardest stages and the overall classification. I was fine and had good legs all week.I want to share this success with all the fans who were on the streets during this week. I must thank the team and also San Luis Somos Todos where I rode for three years.

 

“My country invests so much in cycling. I have to thank the governor Poggi and my province.

 

The win was made sweeter by the fact that he achieved it on home soil.

 

“It feels like home here after I have been riding here for so many years. It is a city and a province that I love. This Tour is my race.

 

“It was harder to win in 2013 because I did a bad time trial and had to turn the GC around. Now everything went as planned, with a great team (Funvic) and with legs that responded better than ever.”

 

Diaz is the first rider to have won the race twice.

 

“It is a great satisfaction to win it twice because you go into history. I was the youngest to win the Doble Bragado and then this Tour. They are nice records.”

 

Diaz had now set his sights on a chance to return to Europe after he spent a year with La Pomme Marseille in 2011.

 

“I would like t win it again but hopefully as part of a European team,” he said. “Hopefully, I will get some calls. But we’ll see. I’d love to but I won’t get depressed as I got last time. I feel good and I know that it is not like someone has died. I feel I have much to give and I can deliver something important to a team. It would be a dream to ride the Tour de France. I never stop dreaming and I still believe that I can get to ride there.

 

“I hope that I will get a concrete proposal from Europe so I can test myself in the really important races. In the meantime I'm enjoying this success by maintaining some photos that I will show to my grandchildren in the future.”

 

However, Diaz had not had any offers yet and none of the South American riders to win San Luis have got the chance to ride in Europe. A European sports director told Cyclingnews that it was unlikely to change.

 

In the near future, Diaz will focus on the American calendar.

 

 “Well first of all, I’ll take a break, and then I’ll prepare for the Vuelta a Mexico in March,” Diaz said. “The objective for my team is to be high up in America Tour rankings.

 

 “I think we’ve got invitations to some races in Spain but the main objective is the America Tour.”

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