Italian-Swiss pro team LPR has signed 25-year-old Venezuelan Carlos Ochoa, who after performing well on the South American pro scene comes to Italy with the "blessing" of José Rujano, who personally recommended the rider to team manager Omar Piscina.
Ochoa, a neo pro, is tipped for big things in stage races, with great climbing skills and the ability to time trial well. The young climber took fifth place in general classification of this year's Vuelta a Tachira, one of Venezuela's most prestigious races won in previous years by Rujano, who took third overall in this year's Giro d'Italia.
Piscina praised the young Venezuelan, saying, "Ochoa is a climber with very interesting credentials. It is also good that [José] Rujano recommended him to us, as the South American cyclists know each other well and make more interesting riders; we expect big things from him."
Piscina obviously values the young South American, citing Rujano as an example of what Venezuelan riders can achieve in Italian teams. Rujano took this year's Giro by storm, dominating on the mountain passes to finish the Italian tour in third overall for the Colombia-Selle Italia team. LPR management may now be expecting similar things from their latest acquisition.