The Week That Was...

News & Results

04/25/2006| 0 comments
by Ian Melvin
José Rujano (Selle Italia) (right). Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.
José Rujano (Selle Italia) (right). Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.

The Week That Was...

Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.

After early season rumours suggesting that Jos? Rujano of the Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni team would miss out on a start in this years Giro d?Italia following his none-appearance in Europe, Gianni Savio's squad appear to have lamented and will now allow the exciting climbing sensation to compete for them.  The Venezuelan will then transfer across to the Belgian Quick.Step team on June 1st, after the race finish, as previously agreed between all parties.


Jojo, as he is fondly known, recently spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport.  In the interview he explained that, "I'm feeling really good and really happy to be back in Italy racing again. I was able to ride with the best riders in my first two races and only slowed down on the wet descents... it's normal as I don't want to take any risks before the Giro.?



?Now everything is set; I'll stay with Selle Italia for the Giro and until 31 May, then I'll pass to Quick.Step for the rest of the season. Cycling is my life, my work, my way to Venezuela, the bottom has fallen out of the economy. Poor people have become really poor and rich people have become really rich. Those in the middle have become poor too. The Giro d'Italia has given me a lot of glory and not much money. I managed to buy a house for my family with my salary and prize money. It's near their old house but a little higher up, for when the floods come, it's important to be on a high spot. The houses up high stay there, but the ones down low get washed away."


For this season, his goals do not end at the Giro, as he explained.  "I want to be at least in the first three at the Giro, and in the first five at the Tour de France."  With the obvious talent that this young rider has, who are we to doubt him.  Jojo is a style of rider that has been missing from the Tour for several years.  Iban Mayo once promised much but has since faded away.  Not since the glory days of Marco Pantani have we seen a true mountain specialist lighting up the roads on the way to Paris.


Sticking with the South American theme, a new Colombian professional team was launched last week, Colombia es Pasion Coldeportes.  The team is supported by two major sponsors, Proexport and Coldeportes, the national sports institute.  The team hope to emulate the early success of the Caf? de Colombia and Postobon teams of the 1980?s, introducing the magic of these riders to a new generation of cycling fans across the world.


The team will race the UCI America Tour calendar and some European races.  Their campaign begins with the Tour of El Salvador and the Vuelta de la Juventud for the U23 riders in Colombia.


Former winner of the Tour de France and current director of Team CSC, Bjarne Riis, has slammed Jan Ullrich over his attitude towards the sport and his profession.



After seeing his former team mate in Tuscany, Italy, Riis told Danish newspaper BT that Ullrich?s current state of fitness was "absolutely catastrophic".  He went on to add that "It's clear that he doesn't like to ride a bike, which is why I can't understand why he wants to be a cyclist.  It's a waste of talent. He has to wake up soon. I believe in him less and less."


Ullrich meanwhile has confirmed that his early season knee troubles and behind him and he is now back in to full training.  Writing on his personal website, Ullrich said that, "I'll compete in my first race this season as of next Tuesday, at the Tour de Romandie.  After a short handicap because of my knee irritation I'm completely back on track now."



"I can completely strain my knee again.  Even after speed training, where I pace behind a motorbike at full speed, I don't have any problems anymore. I'm on the saddle for up to six hours every day. I'll be increasing the intensity further so that I can hold on to the race in Switzerland."


Finally this week, if you?re in the neighbourhood, why not check out the inaugural Capitol Classic: A Bicycle Ride & Race for Autism Awareness (, taking place on Sunday, June 4 in Saint Paul, on the streets surrounding the Minnesota State Capitol. This fundraiser features plenty of cycling, live music, healthful-food options, and wellness expo. All proceeds will benefit the Autism Society of Minnesota.


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Until next week?



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