Skinny little climbers hate team time trials. It’s a discipline they despise and a guarantee they’ll lose valuable time against their rivals.
That makes today’s results in the stage one TTT at the Giro Del Trentino pretty exciting for skinny little climber José Rujano (Androni Venezuela).
It’s about chrono damage control and Rujano’s boys came in 4th place, only 15 second down on the winning time of Team BMC. José will look back at the 14.3 kilometer test from Riva Del Garda to Arco with a smile.
Scan over Rujano’s career and it’s like a mountain stage profile in the Tour de France. Dramatic climbs, steep descents. In 2005 he finished a shocking third in the Giro d’Italia. He was the Pantani of South America.
The descent of that mountain was fast and furious as the result disappeared. He quickly bombed out of two teams — QuickStep and Caisse d’Epargne — and the critics said he’s finished, go home to Venezuela and the farm.
Then in 2010 Rujano got his last chance at Androni Giocattoli and somehow climbed his way out of his career abyss. Maybe the threat of poverty added a certain motivation to his training.
He certainly delivered the goods with two stage wins and a 6th overall in the 2011 Giro d’Italia — a Giro so brutal they fired head man Angelo Zomegnan in the aftermath.
Team manager Gianni Savio was thrilled with Rujano’s sudden return to form. Which did cast a degree of suspicion on events. Savio is also a guy with an up and down career including allegations of doping within his squads — riders like Davide Rebellin and Michele Scarponi and Francesco De Bonis.
But today is a day to enjoy for the little climber José Rujano. That pain in the butt team time trial is behind him and it’s mostly up from here. The nasty climbs of Punta Velena and Passo Pordoi are on the menu. Time to show those chrono guys who is boss.