Dueñas cleared to race

Spanish rider Moisés Dueñas gets the OK to return to competition after serving a reduced ban for testing positive for EPO.

Spanish rider Moisés Dueñas has been given the green light to return to competition following his reduced ban for testing positive for EPO.

Dueñas, 28, popped for EPO midway through the 2008 Tour de France while riding for Barloworld. Dueñas later saw his two-year ban reduced after he cooperated with the Spanish cycling federation.

Dueñas was once viewed as a promising young Spanish pro, with victories at the Tour de l’Avenir in 2006 and the Regio-Tour in 2007 after joining the pro ranks. He rode two years with Agritubel before switching to Barloworld in 2008, but his tenure with the now-defunct Italian team didn’t last long as he got nailed for EPO midway through the season.

Dueñas is hopeful he can find a pro team to take him on, but he admits job prospects are slim.

“I’m hoping to find a team, but I know it’s the end of the year and the teams are practically closed,” he told the Spanish wire service EFE.

In other Spanish news, José Ángel Gómez Marchante said he’s quietly optimistic following the first training camp with his new team, Andalucía-CajaSur.

Gómez Marchante was once a podium threat at the Vuelta a España, but was plagued with injuries for several seasons. Last year, he joined Cervélo TestTeam in a bid to regain his confidence. A run to land in the top 10 at the Vuelta fell short in 2009, however, and he’s since moved to the smaller, Andalucía-CajaSur team.

The climber still hopes he can snag some results with the Spanish continental team, something essential for the squad to try to earn a wild-card bid to race the Vuelta in September.

“I am very content and motivated. I’ve gotten to know my new teammates and I am very excited going into the new season,” Marchante said. “It’s a very good feeling here.”

Gómez Marchante will open his season at the Tour de San Luís in Argentina followed by the Ruta del Sol in February.