José Angel Gomez Marchante isn't named anymore as a potential GC contender for the Vuelta a España even though he's only 30. But the rider from Andalucia-Cajasur hasn't said his last word.
As a rider on the local team for the first few stages of the 2010 Vuelta in Sevilla, Malaga and Marbella, the squad will be fighting hard to make a name for itself in the race. "We felt a great support for our team in the streets of Sevilla last night," Gomez Marchante told Cyclingnews at the start of stage two. "It was a wonderful way for us to start the Vuelta. There were many people coming to see us. They're proud that we wear the colours of the region."
In the line up of the Andalucia-Cajasur team for the Vuelta only Gomez Marchante, who is originally from Madrid but lives in Alicante, and Argentine Jorge Montenegro aren't from Andalucia. All 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 territory of 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: ninth at Paris-Nice and seventh at the Dauphiné in 2005, fifth at the Vuelta a España after winning a stage and the overall classification of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco in 2006, twelfth at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, the Tour of Romandie and the Tour de Suisse in 2007, tenth 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 ninth place at Le Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia," he recalled. "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 quieter for me to ride for a team like Andalucia-Cajasur," Gomez Marchante added. "Unfortunately I can't ride the Tour de France anymore but the Vuelta is a big goal. I'm not thinking of GC because I've crashed again at the Tour of Burgos and I'm not too sure of how my condition is, but I'll definitely target a stage win in one of the mountain stages."
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