Madrid-born rider José Ángel Gómez Marchante has a well-defined goal for 2006: the Tour de France. To accomplish it, the Spaniard chose to return to racing a little later this season. "I was told that I should take it easy for the beginning of the season, and that´s what I´m doing!," said Gómez Marchante before the Vuelta a Pais Vasco, where the Saunier Duval rider is currently in eighth position on GC. "I´m lucky because in winter I don´t put up weight and I keep fit. Thus, I´ll be perfectly able to follow the training they have prepared for me."
Gómez Marchante added, "We´ll have a good squad at Pais Vasco, and we are all intend to be in good shape for the race. It's very important because it´s part of the UCI ProTour and also because our team wants to make a good impression from the very start. After the Basque Country, I´ll ride in the Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. It´ll all be new to me, as I´ve never participated in any of these classic races."
The Saunier Duval rider will continue his pre-Tour programme at the Dauphiné Libéré, where he hopes for a good result. "[At the Dauphiné] I hope my performance will be at least as good as last year [second place on GC, stage results]," he continued. "Then, I really expect to have a good Tour de France, so that I can finally erase those bad 2005 memories, when I fell and broke my collarbone."
As for the end of season, Marchante said he preferred not to think too much about it now. "Last year, I´d planned to ride in the Vuelta and couldn´t because of my collarbone injury," he added. "It´s better not to make long-term plans. My focus is on the Tour right now."