After seven stages of the Vuelta a España, José Angel Gomez Marchante lies in 50th position overall, more than 13 minutes down. At the start in Seville he no longer seemed to figure among the potential GC contenders even though he is still just 30 years old. But the rider from Andalucia-Cajasur hasn’t said his last word.
“We felt great support for our team in the streets of Seville and during the first days of the race on Andalucian roads,” Gomez Marchante told Cyclingnews. “It was a wonderful way for us to start the Vuelta. There were many people who came out just to see us. They’re proud that we wear the colours of the region.”
In Andalucia-Cajasur’s Vuelta line-up, only Gomez Marchante who is originally from Madrid but lives in Alicante, and Argentine Jorge Montenegro aren’t from Andalucia. All of the other riders hail from this southern part of Spain.
Gomez Marchante started his pro career in 2004 with Costa de Almeria-Paternina, which was another squad sponsored by a region on the Mediterranean coast. He finished eighth overall at his first participation at the Vuelta that year. During the four following seasons he spent with Saunier Duval, he delivered consistent results at stage races: 9th at Paris-Nice and 7th at the Dauphiné in 2005, 5th at the Vuelta a España in 2006 after also winning a stage and the overall classification of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco the same year, 12th at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, the Tour of Romandie and the Tour de Suisse in 2007, and 10th at the Tour of Romandie in 2008.
But he wasn’t so successful when he joined Cervélo for one year in 2009. “I started well with a 9th place at Le Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia,” he said. “But I crashed at Paris-Nice. At the Tour de France, I was in the front group during stage 16 won by Mikel Astarloza when my team car made me crash. I’ve had a lot of bad luck and I hope this is over.
“It’s calmer for me when I ride for a team like Andalucia-Cajasur,” Gomez Marchante said. “Unfortunately I can’t ride the Tour de France anymore but the Vuelta is a big goal. I’m not thinking of the GC because I crashed again at the Tour of Burgos and my condition wasn’t as good as I hoped when I started this race, but I’ll definitely target a stage win in one of the mountain stages.”