Menzies breaks out front in Vuelta Mexico sprint competition
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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Menzies breaks out front in Vuelta Mexico sprint competition

by VeloNation Press at 12:44 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Karl Menzies of the OUCH Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis made the most of his time in the main break of Stage 2 of la Vuelta Mexico, winning all four of the intermediate sprints out on the road and taking over the leader’s jersey in the sprint competition.

The rolling 158 km stage featured two rated climbs, including the climb to the finish in Tlaxcala, which topped out above 3000 meters.

“Karl went off early with Darren Lill (Team Type 1) for about 30km before another eight riders bridged up. The make-up of the break was good for Karl,” noted team director Mike Tamayo. “He was definitely the best sprinter in the group and he took advantage of that.”

Landis gets ditched

Once t he break was absorbed, the battle for the stage win and the overall title began to take shape. By the finishing climb, the main bunch was down to 24 riders, with Floyd Landis of OUCH Presented by Maxxis protected by teammates Roman Kilun and Brad White.

The attacks began and the front group started to crumble. Feeling strong on the climb, Landis put in an attack with 6 km to go. But he was chased down by a teammate of two-time Giro d’Italia champion Gilberto Simoni (Serramenti PVC).

A minute later, another rider swerved in front of Landis and forced him to crash into a ditch.

“Floyd chased back to the caravan and made contact with the group with about 1 km to go,” Tamayo said, “but at this point it was too late. The last kilometer was super steep.”

Simoni paid off the work of his teammate with the stage win, en route to taking the overall lead. Landis finished 24th on the stage, 1:10 back of Simoni.

“I was suffering in the climb like everybody else,” Landis said. “I made a mistake in position and had a mishap in the ditch. The outcome would have still been the same. Simoni was very strong today.”

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