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Having been the subject of a frantic tug-of-war between Selle Italia and Quick Step during the first part of this season, when he eventually left the former team for the latter, Venezuelan climber Jos Rujano has left the Belgian team by mutual agreement. Rujano failed to live up to the potential he showed last year when he took the mountains title and finished third at the Giro.
"I want to say thanks to the riders and the staff of the Quick Step team for these months of working together," said Rujano in a press release. "Unfortunately, I haven't succeeded in reaching the objectives that I was set with the team because of some personal problems that have conditioned my season. I wish the team all the best for the next season."
Rujano's move to Quick Step was clouded by what was claimed, by Selle Italia manager Gianni Savio, to be outrageous demands by the Venezuelans Italian business manager. Savio went as far as preventing Rujano from racing early this season, before allowing him to ride the Giro in Selle Italia colours. Rujano controversially quit the race close to the end of the stage over the Colle San Carlo, later explaining he had been cold.
Better news for Quick Step was the confirmation that Frenchman Cdric Vasseur will stay with the team for another season, which will be his final one in the pro ranks.
Meanwhile, Quick Step team leader Paolo Bettini has entered into the debate about using DNA samples to combat doping by expressing his opposition. "This kind of thing is done with serial killers. What the teams currently want is in violation of the respect for privacy," the world champion told L'Equipe.
Quick Step team manager Patrick Lefvre, however, did not back his rider's stance, telling Het Laatste Nieuws: "Before rejecting the use of DNA, Paolo would do better to reflect. Before saying anything, he should first ride the ProTour teams' ethical code. Paolo is the world champion, he is a valuable example. If the riders were to reject the ethical code, they would put their future and cycling's in danger."
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