Vacansoleil-DCM leaves “complicated” Jose Rujano out of Giro d’Italia squad
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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Vacansoleil-DCM leaves “complicated” Jose Rujano out of Giro d’Italia squad

by Ben Atkins at 11:46 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Three Corsa Rosa debutants in Dutch ProTeam as Thomas De Gendt aims for the Tour

jose rujanoVacansoleil-DCM has taken the precautionary decision to leave Jose Rujano out of its nine-man line up for the Giro d’Italia. In what it describes as “a complicated matter” the Dutch ProTeam will leave the Venezuelan climber - who rode last week’s Tour de Romandie - at home due to his alleged links to a dope-trafficking ring in Italy; with the case still pending - and potentially to be resolved in the middle of the race - it has been decided to take the safest course.

“The facts on Rujano in the Italian investigation seem pretty innocent but to get a credible sport we cannot take decisions on the fact that it seems innocent,” explained Vacansoleil-DCM directeur sportif Jean-Paul van Poppel. “We have to put to light on orange for him as long as the public prosecutor doesn’t take a decision and this decision will be taken in May according to Italian insiders.”

With Rujano on the sidelines, and last year’s Giro third place and Stelvio stage winner Thomas De Gendt concentrating on the Tour de France this season, Vacansoleil-DCM will start the race on Saturday without a recognised overall contender. The team also lacks a top-level sprinter, after recent injuries to Romain Feillu and Barry Markus, but Van Poppel will be looking for his experienced riders to go for stage victories, as some riders appear at the Corsa Rosa for the first time.

“Last year was a big success with a great team supporting De Gendt but also with a very active Martijn Keizer who was in several serious breaks and who won the intermediate sprints classification,” said van Poppel. “Besides the fact that our selected sprinters are injured and not able to start I still see chances for finished like for example Pim Ligthart, Grega Bole and Marco Marcato.

“Italian Marcato debuts in the Giro and we likewise choose Rafael Valls for this beautiful race to see if there are more chances for a stage win than at the Tour.”

While some Vacansoleil-DCM riders will be making their debut at the Giro, two of them are set to make their very first appearance at any of the three-week races. While there will be no pressure on these riders, van Poppel expects to see them perform well.

“[Maurits] Lammertink and [Willem] Wauters debut in a Grand Tour and it will be a trip in which they can explore their boundaries. Both riders are fit and prepared after the first month of the season.

“The fact that they are solid in the mountains gives me the confidence that they will be able to finish the race. I expect that we will see them, like the others on the team, in the picture a few times.”

Vacansoleil-DCM team for the Giro d’Italia
Grega Bole, Martijn Keizer, Maurits Lammertink, Pim Ligthart, Marco Marcato, Rob Ruijgh, Willem Wauters, Rafael Valls and Frederik Veuchelen


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