Made a flying start to the 2013 campaign by finishing tied runner-up in the first event, the Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa in December 2012. The event was reduced to 36 holes and the course heavily modified after huge rainfall, and a four under par 61 in the second round gave De La Riva a share of the lead. He bogeyed the first extra hole to drop out of a three-man play-off which included Steve Webster and eventual winner Scott Jamieson, but it was a positive start for the Spaniard, who took the ninth card at the 2012 Qualifying School Final Stage. That made up for a disappointing finish to the Challenge Tour season, narrowly missing out on a spot in the top 21 of the Rankings despite finishing fourth at the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final. Played his rookie season on The European Tour in 2003 but lost his playing rights after finishing 222nd on the Order of Merit. Is close friends with Pablo Larrazábal, who was at PGA Catalunya Resort in 2012 to see him qualify.