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"I want to win again. I am very motivated, well prepared and has a clear head with the mentality to rest, eat and ride well. Hopefully he can fight and repeat the win."

Photo: Sirotti

TOUR DE SAN LUIS

RACE PROFILE
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NEWS
21.01.2015 @ 01:41 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Daniel Diaz (Funvic) has returned to his best level after he claimed the stage win at the top of Mirador del Potrero at the end of the second stage of the Tour de San Luis with great authority. The Argentine national champion finished almost half a minute ahead of Nairwo Quintana and now hopes to repeat his win from the 2013 edition.

 

 

"I did not expect so big differences," the winner said at the finish. "It was an agonizing climb due to the infernal pace which was set by the riders from San Luis Somos Todos," he explained. "There were many attacks but it was Rodolfo Torres who split the group. I had orders to respond to all attacks and that is what I have done" until he finally managed to escape on his own to take the win.

 

"It was a very rapid ascent. The team has worked so hard to whittle down the group and there were many attacks. I do not know when Quintana fell off, maybe 2km from the end. My goal was to win the stage and I managed to do so. I have to say thanks to my teammates. I did not expect to be able to make such a difference. We are of course happy with the gaps in the overall standings. 

 

In was a surprise that Diaz was so far from his usual level in 2014 after he had won the race in 2013 and finished second in 2012. "Last year I had personal problems and had lost the joy due to a number of factors," he said, "Now I am happy, enjoying every minute of the preparation, the start, every climb, the pain in the legs and of course this victory."

 

In addition to the stage win, Diaz took the overall leadership and inevitably he harbors a dream. "I want to win again. I am very motivated, well prepared and has a clear head with the mentality to rest, eat and ride well. Hopefully he can fight and repeat the win," admitted Diaz who is also leader of the mountains classification.

 

"For the final victory, the biggest rivals are Nairo and the boys of Team Colombia, but my teammates and I are in shape so I'm confident, even if the race is still long. For me, this race is very important. I trained specifically with altitude training camps. This triumph has special value as it represents the revenge after a difficult year."

 

He was also enthusiastic to have escaped in the final metres to win while being surrounded by thousands of Argentines who cheered him on. "I feel much happiness because I felt supported and loved. This stage is dedicated to all of them," he said. 

 

Some years ago Diaz rode in Europe but he has made a name as a young talent in his own country. And now, while he feels good in the Brazil Funvic team, he acknowledged he would like to return to Europe. "Yes, of course, I would love to do that because that is the best. There was a small chance, but we all know that it is quite difficult to live in that part of the world. For now, I am very happy and comfortable in this Brazilian team," he said.

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