Rujano wants to win Tour de Langkawi prior to successful Giro campaign
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Monday, March 01, 2010

Rujano wants to win Tour de Langkawi prior to successful Giro campaign

by VeloNation Press at 12:34 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Tiny Venezuelan climber Jose Rujano has returned to his old stomping ground of the Tour de Langkawi, and is planning to use the race as a psychological and physiological springboard to major success this spring.

The 28 year old ISD-Neri climber finished second overall behind Ryan Cox in the 2005 edition of the Malaysian tour. He wasn’t well known before that performance, but his ride several months later in the Giro d’Italia stunned the peloton. He finished third in the general classification, won a stage, and ended the race at the top of the rankings for King of the Mountains and combativity.

He’s raced for the Quick Step, Unibet and Caisse d’Epargne since then but has failed to take any major European results, bar his sixth overall in the 2008 Deutschland Tour. Realising that it is now or never, particularly after he raced with the small Venezuelan Gobernación del Zulia team in 2009, he’s determined to shine this season.

“I confirm that the Tour of Italy is my goal this year,” he said at the pre-Tour de Langkawi press conference. “I will definitely go to the Giro aiming to win.”

Before then, he is aiming to top the podium in the Malaysian event, explaining that this will help him with the bigger target. “It is important for me to win races before, for my confidence. I have come second in the Tour de Langkawi before. I really want to win it. I like this race, it is a very good one.”

Rujano finished safely inside the main bunch on Monday’s opening stage of the race, although he lost a little time when the bunch split. As per UCI rules, when that happens the time gap is calculated to the first rider, and so he conceded eight seconds in the general classification.

While he will be frustrated with that loss of time, he knows that if he is on his top form, it shouldn’t prevent him from taking a lot more back on Saturday’s big climb. Bunch sprints are the most likely outcome until then and, if so, the final GC could come down to what will effectively be a slugfest on what is one of the steepest climbs in cycling.

“I want good team-work to take me to the bottom of Genting in the perfect position,” he explained. “This climb will decide the winner. I like this climb, but I know there will be many attempts at breakaways [before then].”

Rujano goal for the next few days is to make sure that none of those breakaways succeed. He will make it clear to ISD-Neri that he must avoid losing any more time before those slopes; if he achieves that goal, then final race victory could be his.

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