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Rujano leaves Neri-ISD, returns to Venezuela

Jose Rujano (ISD-Neri) wins the 2010 Tour de Langkawi

Jose Rujano (ISD-Neri) wins the 2010 Tour de Langkawi (Image credit: Le Tour de Langkawi)

Jose Rujano has left Team ISD-Neri and returned to his native Venezuela, where he will ride for a local team while looking for a ProTour team for the coming season.

Rujano's contract ended on May 20. The 27-year-old had said in January that he would go for the overall victor yin the Giro d'Italia, calling himself “the third best climber in the world”. However, his Italian Professional Continental team was not invited to the Giro this year.

According to Biciciclismo, Rujano has now gone back to his old team Gobernación del Zulia, and will ride the Tour of Columbia, which he won with that team last year. He is also scheduled to ride the Central American and Caribbean Games in Puerto Rico, July 17- August 1.

His goal is to find a ProTour team with which he can ride the Vuelta a España this year and the Giro in 2011. “Some teams may be interested in me, but if they are not ProTour, I am not going to accept their proposal,” he said.

Rujano turned pro with Colombia-Selle, riding with them from 2003 until the end of June 2006. He joined Quick Step for the remainder of that season, and then rode for in 2007 and Caisse d'Epargne in 2008. He rejoined the Venezuelan team last year before joining ISD-Neri for the first part of this year.

In 2005 he finished third overall in the Giro, winning a stage and taking the mountain jersey. He is a two-time national road champion.