Video Interview: Savio believes that Rujano can turn back the clock to top Giro form
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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Video Interview: Savio believes that Rujano can turn back the clock to top Giro form

by Shane Stokes at 8:51 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Giro d'Italia, Doping, Race Reports and Results, Video

Gianni SavioIt’s been a full six years since José Rujano blew people’s expectations away with a superb ride in the Giro d’Italia. The diminutive Venezuelan climber impressed greatly in his debut performance, winning at Sestrière, taking both the King of the Mountains and Combativity competitions and finishing third overall.

Tipped by some to be the next big thing in cycling, Rujano hasn’t impressed much since then. His 2006 season with QuickStep was a modest one, then a succession of contracts with, Caisse d’Epargne and ISD-Neri were not at anything like the same level as his standout season.

Victory in last year’s Tour de Langkawi did suggest he was back on track but the team was not given a wildcard for the Giro; rather than competing in Italy, the 29 year old had to instead be satisfied with results such as third in the 2.2 Vuelta a Columbia.

This season, he’s been solid rather than spectacular. He was sixth in the Giro dell’Appennino, eighth in the Giro del Trentino and 11th in the GP Industria & Artigianato. No victories, but Androni Giocattoli - C.I.P.I general manager Gianni Savio is convinced that he could do something major in the Giro.

“At this moment, he has good condition,” he told VeloNation in a video interview at the weekend. “He prepared well for this season during the finish of last year, when he was in a Venezuelan team. I think that he will return at the same level as in 2005. There is one stage, the stage of Sestriere, which he won [before]. So I think that this is a good, good memory for us.”

Rujano will have the team’s backing if he is indeed back to that form, but two others will also be favoured. “For me, it is the first time in which we present three leaders,” said Savio, “the Colombian Jose Serpa, the Venezuelan Jose Rujano and the Italian Emanuel Sella. I think that this will be very interesting for me as we think we have a good team. We are a professional [continental] team and not pro team, and so we have a budget totally different from the big teams. But we have determination, we have enthusiasm. I think that we will honour the Giro as we did in the past.”


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