Pressure on Rujano to deliver as Savio rejects mononucleosis claim
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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Pressure on Rujano to deliver as Savio rejects mononucleosis claim

by VeloNation Press at 7:39 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Androni Giocatoli team considers rider’s Giro withdrawal wasn’t warranted

Jose RujanoHaving made clear on the day of Jose Rujano’s sudden withdrawal from the Giro that he was not impressed with the rider’s actions, Androni Giocattoli manager Gianni Savio has dismissed last week’s claims by the rider that he is suffering from mononucleosis.

Savio issued a statement today saying that he considered there was no valid reason for him to have pulled out of the race, and said that he must make amends in other events later this season.

“Following Josè Rujano's press release, I do not want to argue with the rider but I feel obliged to intervene because nobody is allowed to distort facts and to question the professionalism of the members of our team staff,” stated Savio in a communication.

“Rujano declares that he abandoned the Giro because of mononucleosis. But haematological tests and blood chemistries do not indicate any active phase of mononucleosis, they just show traces of a previous exposition to the virus. Even if is not excluded that Rujano might have had a [different] infection which conditioned his performance during the race, his clinical condition did not require him to be stopped by the team's physician, Dr. Luca Romano, as was done with Carlos Ochoa, suffering from bronchitis.

“Dr. Romano has confirmed that Rujano did not suffer from any pathology which could prevent him from finishing the race. In the morning meetings of the first seventeen stages, Rujano himself had always said he was feeling well. Therefore the rider's withdrawal - three days before the end of the Giro - has no justification. Moreover, the team has always 'sacrificed' two riders running at the 'captain' side.”

Rujano’s sudden end to his Giro campaign came after he failed to perform at the same level as last year, when he clocked up two stage wins and placed sixth overall. It’s the second time that he has clashed with Savio in the event, with the rider also withdrawing suddenly from the 2006 race after tensions on the team.

He was riding that race as his final event with the squad prior to a mid-season transfer to the Quick Step team. Several disappointing years followed, but the Venezuelan returned to form when he reunited with Savio prior to the 2011 season.

At the time Savio said that he understood the rider better than other directeurs sportifs, and that their renewed working relationship was what the rider needed to once again compete at the top level.

It’s now clear that relationship needs to be rebuilt once more, with Savio openly questioning the rider’s statements and saying that he has to get things back on track.

“In the press release about the alleged mononucleosis, Rujano says his goal is to take part to the London Olympic Games in July. Quite odd, considering that he himself had told he had taken some months' rest to overcome a past episode of mononucleosis,” he stated.

“Anyway the season is not over, and Rujano will have the opportunity to 'redeem' himself in the other competitions where the team will participate.”

He added that the team would support him and help him to ride to his best without putting on pressure, but that it expected him to honour races ‘in respect of his fellow riders, our sponsors, the organizers, and all our fans.’


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