Savio: Rujano’s in better shape than last year
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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Savio: Rujano’s in better shape than last year

by VeloNation Press at 5:30 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Androni Giocattoli – Venezuela team aiming for podium in Giro

Gianni SavioGianni Savio has said that he believes that Jose Rujano is stronger than he was during the 2011 Giro d’Italia, when he won a stage and finished seventh overall, then was upgraded to sixth, two stage wins and the mountains classification after Alberto Contador was disqualified.

“I think that he is a little bit better this time actually. He has prepared very well for this Giro,” the Androni Giocattoli – Venezuela team manager told C-cycling.blogspot.com, for whom he is providing Giro analysis. “He was second in Langkawi where we won with Serpa and after that he did well in Italy, in Giro del Trentino, so I think he is ready. Plus he is also a rider who is able to increase his condition during the Giro, which is very important for the last week.”

Asked if he believes Rujano can take the final overall classification, Savio indicated the rider is difficult to predict. However he is hopeful that things play out well.

“There is no doubt that Rujano has the possibility to win the Giro, but with him nothing is certain,” he said. “For sure I hope he will win, but we will have to wait and see.”

Rujano’s best Giro appearance was in 2005, when he finished third overall, won a stage and took both the mountains and combativity classifications.

Several lean years followed, but he underwent a return to form when he reunited with Savio in 2011.

The latter laid out his team goals and also emphasized that there were other riders who could also perform in the race if necessary.

“First of all we want to be protagonists. We hope to get a rider on the podium,” he said. “José Rujano was already on the podium back in 2005 and I hope he can be there this year too. He is our team leader, but we have also two other riders who can do something big in this race, José Serpa and Emanuelle Sella.”

Each of those riders will need to overcome the time they lost in the opening prologue, as well as whatever they concede in tomorrow’s team time trial. Serpa is currently best-placed of those, sitting 114th, one minute and four seconds back.

Rujano is a further three seconds and thirteen places behind, with Sella in 138th, 1 minute 14 off the Maglia Rosa of Taylor Phinney.

Savio’s Androni Giocattoli Venezuela team was in the headlines for other reasons yesterday when sprinter Roberto Ferrari caused a large pileup close to the line. Savio has apologized for the incident.

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