By Jakob Duma
At a present time when names like Filippo Pozatto, Yaroslav Popovych, and Tom
Boonen, are well on the way to start the new domination of the "1980´s
generation" on the modern international cycle scene all around Europe, another
young prodigy is about to start letting loose some of his enormous potential
with only one target in mind, to make a name of himself and conquer the
international world of cycling. He is truly already well on his way.
The name is Rujano, Jose Rujano a 21 year old young man, from the relative
unknown (from a cycling point of view, anyway) Latin American country of
Venezuela, a land with a population around 24 milion and currently the fastest
growing country in all of South America. Born on the 18th of February 1982, in
the small town of Santa Cruz de Mora (in the Province of Mérida), Rujano was
coached and got a lot of help from his father who was himself a former cyclist
early on in his career, but he also however received a lot of help and advice
from former Venezuelan professional and Carrera and ZG-Mobili rider Leonardo
Sierra, who to this date is the only Venezuelan to win a stage in a Grand Tour -
stage 16 to Aprica in 1990´s Giro d'Italia, and who is a former neighbour of J.
Rujano´s back in the days in Santa Cruz de Mora.
Before the start of 2003, Jose Rujano signed with the Colombian/Italian
equipment Colombia-Selle Italia, directed by Gianni Savio who actually is
also a former sports director of Leonardo Sierra at ZG-Mobili. He has already
impressed highly at Tour de Langkawi where he finished 18th on the final GC, but
also at Giro Della Liguria, where he showed his potential by finishing 7th in
the 10,2km mountain time trail, and receiving a lot of praise from team director
Jose Rujano on the Genting Highlands stage at Tour de Langkawi.
Photo courtesy of TdL.
Jose Rujano is an excellent climber, and really enjoys himself in the high
mountains, but he also has a combination of mental strength and raw power so
that he is also able to take care of himself on the flatland as well as in the
strong winds. Rujano is also a very confident young man; in a interview last
year with the South American paper El Universal where he described himself as a
rider, he mentions himself as a natural climber, but also as a pretty handy time
trailist (an ability he thinks probably came to him from racing on the track)
and two qualities he hopes will bring him much success in stage races in the
In fact, J. Rujano's great dream is to participate in the Giro d'Italia and
the Tour De France, as dream that pretty soon may come true (at least the Giro),
since Colombia - Selle Italia has been selected, with guys like José
Castelblanco, Hernan Dario Munoz, Freddy González, Mikhaylo Khalilov, and other
exciting young talents like of course J. Rujano, but also Maurizio Henao,
Raffaele Illiano, Fidel Jeobani Chacon Skiner and Carlos A. Ibanez, to the
Italian race as they have been the last couple of years.
So there you have it guys, keep a look out for this young Venezuelan in the
future, and don’t be surprised if some of the bigger teams are looking to snatch
him up not too long in the horizon.