By Monika Prell
Yesterday the team Saunier Duval - Prodir was presented in Estepona, in the south of Spain, where they are holding their training camp. Vuelta al País Vasco winner José Ángel Gómez Marchante talked to the Spanish newspaper Diario Vasco about his expectations for 2007 and the changes he experienced after winning the Basque ProTour race.
When asked if he considers himself more valued now, he answered, "Concerning the team and the fellows, yes. Concerning other things, I feel less valued. I'm in the UCI's top fifty, so I had to fill out a form of which I don't know how many pages it contained, and on top of everything it came to me in French and in English, of which I don't understand anything."
"They asked me to say where I will be every day in the coming three months. I will have to fill out these forms every four months. My girlfriend had to help me. I have to be able to be reached from seven o'clock in the morning until nine o'clock in the evening, this means 24 hours a day. I don't have a private life. I have ten hours of sleep. Does this happen in any other sport?"
His big dream is winning the Vuelta in 2007. "Reaching this depends on many things. You have to be in excellent form, luck, physical health, and have a team that helps you a lot," said Marchante. The biggest problem could be his health, as he admits weighing only 59.5 kilos -- not very much for a height of 1.75 meters. He recognizes that the cold is not good for him. "I get cold very fast with this body. I love the heat. 40 degrees? Always better than the cold."