Daniel Moreno has said that he is ready to take on more responsibility at Katusha in 2014 but stressed that he is happy to continue playing a key supporting role for Joaquim Rodriguez, who will target the Giro d’Italia this season.
Although he followed an almost identical race programme to Rodriguez last year, Moreno was still able to help himself to victory at Flèche Wallonne and two stages of the Vuelta a España, and as well as third place overall at the Critérium du Dauphiné. Katusha general manager Viatcheslav Ekimov has spoken of the possibility of separating the two Spaniards more often this season, in order to hand Moreno an opportunity to lead at certain races.
“It sounds good but at the same time, there aren’t too many separate races – Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-San Remo, if I ride it, and the Dauphiné,” Moreno told Biciciclismo. “With a good team around me, everything is possible. I’m ready. Last year, for example, I only raced [as leader] at the Dauphiné. I like to take responsibility.”
That said, Moreno is mindful of his place in the Katusha hierarchy, and he will spend the month of May riding in the service of Rodriguez at the Giro. He believes that they are more valuable riding together than apart.
“I feel comfortable. Why change it, when I can help Purito get big wins and have my own chances too?” Moreno said. “I don’t want us to separate too much. To get rid of this duo would be unwise. Besides, I get bored without him…”
The 32-year-old added that he has no desire to leave the Spanish enclave at Katusha, where he has raced since the beginning of the 2011. “I like having personal challenges but at Katusha, I’m very comfortable with my Spanish teammates,” he said. “We have a good group and we almost live together, and I wouldn’t like to lose that.
“Maybe you could gain other things by changing teams but in terms of happiness and a way of life, it would be different.”
Moreno began his 2014 season on familiar roads at the Tour de San Luis, having spent much of the winter in Argentina, where his preparation was briefly interrupted by a training crash in late December. While he travels to Europe for the Katusha team presentation later this week, Moreno will return to Argentina once again before his next race, the Tour of Oman.
“My wife is Argentinean,” he explained. “I was here since October 15, I just came back to Spain for four or five days at Christmas to visit my parents. I travel to the team presentation after the Tour de San Luis, and then I come back to Argentina again for ten days because it’s difficult to train in Andorra at this time of year.”