Menchov reiterates goal to win Tour de France
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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Menchov reiterates goal to win Tour de France

by VeloNation Press at 9:54 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Former runner-up joins forces with Oscar Freire on solid Katusha selection

Denis MenchovWinner of the Vuelta a Espana in 2005 and 2007 plus the 2009 Giro d’Italia, Denis Menchov has confirmed that he is determined to try to add the Tour de France title to his palmares this year. The Katusha competitor has been named as the GC leader of the Katusha team, and makes it clear that he will give everything to try to take the Maillot Jaune.

"It's a huge responsibility that gives me high motivation,” he said today in the team announcement. “It will be my first big stage race with the team of my country, so I'll give my best in order to win.

“The Tour de France is the only Grand Tours that I still hadn't won: it's not a secret that this year it was my main goal, it would be the crowning achievement of my career, so that's why I look forward to the start.”

Menchov’s previous Grand Tour successes were based on his twin ability to climb and to time trial; he’s not as quick uphill as the pure specialists, but will beat many of them against the clock. For that reason, he’ll begin the Tour believing that he can fight for yellow after previous finishes of second and third overall.

He will be joined on the team by Oscar Freire, the triple world champion who has shown excellent form this year and who returns to a race where he has previously taken four stages plus the 2008 green jersey.

Also donning the red jersey are Giampaolo Caruso, Vladimir Gusev, Joan Horrach, Aliaksandr Kuchynski, Luca Paolini, Yuriy Trofimov and Eduard Vorganov.

“The team is great: we selected the riders very carefully,” said Menchov. “I talked a lot with the sport directors, so I think that's the best possible team, keeping in mind our shape and the profile of the competition.

“We have good domestiques, and Freire proved to be in good shape during this season. I'm very satisfied with the final roster, and I'm sure we will obtain some great results.”

The team will begin the race second overall in the UCI WorldTour rankings, thanks largely to the Giro d’Italia runner-up slot of Joaquim Rodriguez, his Flèche Wallonne victory and second overall plus stages in the Vuelta a Pais Vasco.

If Menchov, Freire and the others perform, it could be possible for the team to again head those rankings. That’ll be a goal, but the Maillot Jaune is the biggest target of all.


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