Rujano claims mononucleosis is reason for Giro withdrawal
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Friday, June 01, 2012

Rujano claims mononucleosis is reason for Giro withdrawal

by Shane Stokes at 5:13 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Injury
 
Future on team uncertain for Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela rider

Jose RujanoAfter receiving stinging criticism from his Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela team manager Gianni Savio for pulling out of the Giro d’Italia, Jose Rujano has now said that mononucleosis was the reason for his failure to perform in the race.

The Venezuelan climber, who finished third in 2005 and took sixth overall plus two stages last year, based his season around the event. However after taking ninth on Lago Laceno, he dropped steadily down the rankings and was sitting 37th overall, 42 minutes16 seconds back, when he went into the nineteenth stage. He was a non-finisher there, raising the ire of Savio. "It's a good thing his contract ends this season,” he told journalists at the Giro. “There will be no second chances.”

Rujano said that he underwent tests at the Vialarda di Biella clinic in Italy and that these have explained the reason for his lack of form.

"I knew something was not right. I prepared very well for the Giro, to give satisfaction to my followers,” he said in a statement. “Physically it was not right.

"I want all my fans know what happened to me. I was the person who had the biggest interest in doing a good job, this was something that I had trained for seven months. I could not finish it, it was not by choice, it was because I was not healthy.”

Rujano previously competed with the team from 2003 to 2006. After his strong ride in 2005, he went into the following year’s race as one of the favourites. However he was in dispute with the team over his contract and wanted to move to Quick Step; an agreement was reached whereby he would ride the Giro d’Italia, then transfer across, but he withdrew during the Italian event.

Several years of quiet performances followed, but he returned to form when he rejoined Savio’s team last year. At the time the Italian team owner said that he knew how to get the best out of the rider.

It is unclear whether Savio will accept Rujano’s explanation for his Giro flop, or if the relationship has been permanently damaged. When he retired from the race, Savio referred to him as “a former captain. We asked for a demonstration of character and to honour the race, but he retired.”

The Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela team took part in the Giro d’Italia thanks to a wildcard invitation. It is not scheduled to ride the Tour de France. Rujano has said that his next target is the Olympic Games.

“I will recover from this virus and will remain the same strong rider,” he said. “I never thought something would happen to me in the Giro. God knows why these things happen."
 

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