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Tarik Chaoufi (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
Moroccan rider struggles with homesickness
Euskaltel Euskadi has announced that Moroccan Tarik Chaoufi will no longer ride for the Basque team having failed to settle in with the squad.
Euskaltel abandoned its former stance of signing exclusively Basque riders for this season, with the exception being Samuel Sanchez, however in the case of the Moroccan, the experiment has not proved fruitful.
Mid-year Chaoufi, a climbing specialist, announced he was taking an extended break from Euskaltel, returning to his homeland and finishing seventh in his title defence at the Moroccan national championships. It's understood that he had a relative that was battling illness.
"The days have become long and sad, even though his colleagues have tried to make the stay more pleasant, more comfortable," explained the team on their website.
Due to return from his break and race a six-week stint through France, Belgium and Holland, Chaoufi chose not to resume his contract with the team.
Chaoufi signed with Euskaltel Euskadi having finished top of the UCI Africa Tour rankings for 2012. He was the first Moroccan to sign with a European team.