Edi Díaz: “You need to want to experience an adventure and be decisive”

March 31 st 2020 - 10:30

Edi was the winner in the Adventure category in the Titan Desert 2019, the best of the bold cyclists who are not entitled to mechanical help or physiotherapy in the six stages of the event. He took over the title from Moisés Dueñas, winner of the category in 2017 and 2018.

You finished 37 in the general classification as an Adventure rider, a great achievement.

It is a category in which you cannot have domestiques. You’re on your own, and you try to link up with good groups. You have to remember that if you get tired you can’t call on anyone else to help you out. You use your own resources and you need to control your effort or take risks within your possibilities. You also have to remember that there are six stages to be completed.

What characteristics should a good Adventure rider have?

The most important thing is the desire to experience an adventure, plus a willingness to be decisive on both the mechanical and personal levels. You don’t have a mechanic when you finish the stage. When you arrive, you recover, take a shower and hydrate, and when the sun goes down you go and get your bike to leave it in the best possible condition for the next day’s stage. In the other categories the riders can use that time to get a good rest.

It doesn’t seem easy at all.

Well, it has its own charm because you are involved in everything. It is one of the most attractive categories. You need to be very well organized, especially in terms of navigation. You enter the coordinates in your navigator yourself, which gives an extra shine to the adventure. You enjoy it in a different way, and you get to know other people in the Adventure category. It is the real Titan Spirit.

What was your hardest moment?

The worst was when Fernando Civera died. You realise that you are competing in a cateogy and that every day is like a war. Keeping a fatbike going at high speed is a bit stressful. Nevertheless, everything went like clockwork for me in the Titan last year.

Did you have any mechanical problems?

Apart from the odd puncture, which was easily solved, I had problems with the gears because a lever broke. I decided not to do anything during the stage and I put it right in the bivouac later… and it lasted until the end of the race.
When all your muscles were hurting at the end of each stage, what did you do?
After an exhausting stage many people just lie down in the tent for an hour. In my case, however, as soon as a stage finished I headed for the tent, had an energy drink and then went straight for a shower. You have to make the best use of your time. I also use electrostimulation.

You competed in the Garmin team. What was the experience like?

I was very lucky that Garmin organized a competition, and three of us were selected on sporting merit. It was a very special and nice relationship. There were a lot of good vibes. This will be the second year I will be part of the Garmin team.

In 2019 you participated with a fatbike, a category in which you finished third. How did things go with that kind of bike?

The fatbike performs very well in the dunes, although it is very hard to maintain top speed on the flat. The tyre is very hard and you are in constant contact with the ground. After two or three hours at 30 kilometres an hour, the battering is brutal. It’s like doing the Dakar Rally in a car or truck. The good thing is that you might try and avoid the dunes with a conventional bike, but the fatbike can handle any difficult zones. You enjoy the Titan Spirit more that way. I managed to get on the podium twice, as winner of the Adventure category and third in fatbikes. The Titan is like a big family, you make great friends there.

This will be your third time this year. What’s your target?

If I finish in the top 30 that would be incredible. The mechanical side needs to be OK, and you cannot lose too much time in navigation. As far as energy is concerned, no stomach problems. A whole load of factors need to line up. The most important thing, though, is that my enthusiasm has not waned.

You’re a firefighter by profession. What’s a typical day in your life?

I am in charge of the firefighters in Chiva (Valencia). I cycle to work every day from Torrent, where I live, unless it’s pouring with rain. When I finish my shifts, I do my training sessions. And, obviously, I combine this with my family life.

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