Marchante switches to Andalucía-CajaSur; Cioni to Sky

José Ángel Gómez Marchante is hoping to rediscover his lost “chispa”

José Ángel Gómez Marchante is hoping to rediscover his lost chispa or spark with a move to Andalucía-CajaSur for 2010.

After winning such races as the Vuelta al País Vasco in 2006 and finishing in the top 5 at the Vuelta a España, Gómez Marchante just hasn’t been able to replicate those results. After a crash-marred season at Cervélo TestTeam, Gómez Marchante returns to his Spanish roots with a one-year contract.

“After a season of light and shadows marked by two important crashes (at Paris-Nice and the Tour de France), I look at this change as a new chapter, with a personal objective of trying to rediscover this attacking and fighter Marchante that characterizes me,” he said. “After a season racing in a very conservative manner, my objective is to change the ‘chip’ and attack once again, giving a spectacle, but using your head.”

Marchante struggled with Cervélo this year, crashing hard in Paris-Nice and then he fractured a bone in his hand after crashing out of the Tour. He couldn’t live up to expectations as the team captain for the Vuelta a España, finishing a distant 22nd overall.

With Andalucía-CajaSur, Marchante will find inexperienced by aggressive young teammates. He will act as the team captain at such races as the Ruta del Sol and the Vuelta a España, with the team holding out hope of earning a wild-card bid to race the Giro d’Italia.

Cioni to Sky

In other team news, Italian all-rounder Dario Cioni is the latest rider to be linked to Team Sky. The move will put Cioni, 35, back into the top level of the sport after riding in 2009 with start-up ISD-Neri. A former mountain biker, Cioni turned to the road full-time in 2000 with Mapei. That was followed by stints with Fassa Bortolo, Liquigas and Predictor-Lotto.