It is not the size of the dog in the fight, it is the size of the fight in the dog. Or something like that. It is no more true than on a mountain in, say, Italy. Last year, the orc-like Jose Rujano went pedal stroke for pedal stroke with the greatest climber in the world, Alberto Contador. Rujano is 5’4″ and 110 pounds. He’s the size of a 6th grade runt, and he’s 31 years old. Earlier in his career, he had no fight, just pure talent. He got fat. He got lazy. He quit when he wasn’t selected to ride the Giro and faded away from the European scene, racing exclusively in South America.
Then, he came back. And he trained. When the other big favorites sat on each other’s wheels and watched Contador bounce away, it was Rujano who counter-attacked. On all the high mountain stages, it was the impish Rujano keeping pace with “El Pistolero”, not the big-name, big team riders Scarponi and Nibali.
The tiny Venezuelan won a stage and shot up the GC to 7th, which was later changed to 6th after Contador was removed from the 2011 results. Contador’s ban also gave Rujano a second stage win. Beyond the numbers, it announced his return to the elite and confirmed his commitment to racing.
Ladies and gentlemen, please enjoy perhaps the most intense and inspiring video ever created about a man 5’4″ tall. I give you…RUJANO!