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"I want to ride the Giro d'Italia and contribute to the team in the mountains."  

Photo: Sirotti




29.10.2015 @ 08:30 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After the demoise of Team Colombia, only a few riders have found a place in a European squad for next season. One is Daniel Felipe Martinez who was announced as new rider forTeam Southeast.



After the confirmation of the arrival of experienced Leonardo Duque at DelkoMarseille-Provence KTM, Martinez is the second Colombia rider to stay in Europe. "I think all riders in the team have qualities and some have seen me. That's why I was chosen," the talented climber told Ciclismo Internacional.


Martinez apparently had an offer from another pro continental team by chose Angelo Citracca's team because "it is a good team with great timing and they made ​​me a good offer."


Martinez, just 19 year sold, had a quiet first season as a professional, where he didn't race too much (just 54 days), but, nevertheless, exceeded the expectations of his directors, taking the mountains jersey in the Route du Sud and finishing 8th overall in the Tour of Utah where he fought with the best Americans in the mountains.


This is where he hopes to strengthen the Southeast team which rode aggressively in the Giro d'Italia, but without taking a victory. Despite his young age, the talented Colombian dares to dream. "I want to ride the Giro d'Italia and contribute to the team in the mountains."  


His dream is not an utopia as the Italian team has already an invitation to the first grand tour of the season by winning the Coppa Italia. And if Martinez maintains his progression, he will have a chance to earn a spot among the 9 riders.


His goals for next year are still not very clear, although "the team already knows something about me. We were in a lot of races together and I guess that I will continue my learning process." He expects to know more about his schedule in December.


Contrary to this season where he was in an all-Colombian team, Martinez must adapt to different cultures which has often been complicated for young Colombians during their stay in Europe. However, he is optimistic and believes he can deal with the challenge because "this year I worked with Italians (his directors, ed.) so I know their culture and I know what it is to work with them."


Asked about the demise of Team Colombia, Martinez felt uncomfortable and did not want to elaborate too much, but said that  "the team left us on our own, it was an 'every man for himself',"


However, the experience with the national team was not all bad. "I had a great time. Every time I went to a race, it was a good time for me," he said.



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