Rujano vs. Selle Italia

Venezuelan rider José Rujano, who won the 2005 Giro d'Italia mountains jersey, is currently not fulfilling his duties as a regularly contracted rider of the Continental Pro team Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni. According to a team statement, Rujano did not show up at last week-end's races in Switzerland, the GP Chiasso and the GP Lugano, although he was included in the team roster to participate at the events.

According to a statement issued by the Colombian team, the 24 year-old climbing sensation, who also won a stage in last year's Giro and ended up third-placed overall, is still under contract with the outfit until June 1, 2006, when he will be free to leave and join the ProTour ranks with Belgian Quick.Step. The arrangement came about because Selle Italia-Serramenti Diquigiovanni was relying on Rujano to get a wildcard invite to the 2006 Giro d'Italia, but now the deal is falling apart.

In the statement, the team outlined that it renounced to a "rather important" compensation sum offered by Quick.Step, as it was agreed that "its equivalent would benefit directly the rider." It therefore asked Rujano to comply with agreements allegedly made in August 2005, otherwise it would block the rider transfer due after the Giro d'Italia.

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