Savio: 'Rujano will win Giro'
José Rujano may not win the Giro this year, but Selle Italia boss Gianni Savio reckons he will in th
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Jos Rujano is a surprise to everyone, except Colombia-Selle Italia team boss Gianni Savio. With the pint-sized Venezuelan poised for the podium in his grand tour debut, the dapper Savio tips the 23-year-old Rujano as a future Giro d’Italia champion.
“I believe Rujano will win the Giro someday. He truly is an once-in-a-lifetime discovery,” said Savio. “I believe he will win the Giro in the next two years.”
Those are bold words from Savio, an iconoclastic Italian sport director who regularly trawls the depths of South American cycling looking for unpolished gems. He “discovered” Rujano three years and quickly penned him to a deal.
“This is his first grand tour and he’s poised for the podium. He’s already surpassed all expectations and he’ll only improve,” Savio continued. “The only worry is if he lets it go to his head and he loses all motivation to live like a professional.”
Rujano bolstered his chances for the podium after catching Gilberto Simoni’s wheel in Thursday’s stage and delivered yet another surprise in the 34km time trial to finish 16th, only four seconds slower than Danilo Di Luca.
Rujano won the Vuelta a Tachira in Venezuela last year and raced in Italy this spring to prepare for the Giro. He gobbled up the King of the Mountain points early on and then has done is level best to disrupt the Italian domination atop the GC.
Savio only licks his lips as he ponders the future. “We are looking for a major co-sponsor to come aboard for the coming seasons, because I am convinced with Rujano we have a Giro winner,” Savio said, adding that Selle Italia is confirmed for two more years. “We want to build a team around Jos and win the Giro with him.”