Menchov concedes Tour victory is now impossible after cracking on road to La Toussuire
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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Menchov concedes Tour victory is now impossible after cracking on road to La Toussuire

by VeloNation Press at 5:34 PM EST   comments
Categories: Tour de France
Russian rider can’t understand failure, will ride on for best possible result

Denis MenchovFifth starting stage 11 and, in being three minutes and two seconds back, still in the possible hunt for the yellow jersey, Denis Menchov’s Tour goals crumbled on the tough Alpine roads to La Toussuire today. The Katusha rider struggled on what was one of the toughest stages of the race and was punished by the clock, rolling in only 41st, fourteen minutes and fifteen seconds back.

“Today it was a bad day for me, and that’s a surprise also for me because during last few days I felt okay,” he said. “Actually I can’t say the reason why I dropped like this. I couldn’t hold the pace of the group of favourites, so I dropped back and continued with my own pace. I must thank also my teammates because they waited for me.”

Third and second in the race in 2008 and 2010 respectively, Menchov plummeted eleven places to sixteenth overall, and admits that his dream of winning the Tour has evaporated. He’s sixteen minutes 20 seconds back heading towards tomorrow’s leg, and has no chance of making up that time in the days ahead.

As a result he said he’ll try to set a new goal and ride for that. “Obviously the goal of trying to fight for final win is now gone,” he conceded, accepting that the deficit was too much. “Anyway I can still aim for a good position in general classification. What happened to me can happen to anybody else and, during the days to come, I’ll try to recover my energy in order to reach the best possible position.”

The Russian rider won the Vuelta a España in 2005 and 2007 plus the Giro d’Italia in 2009. He has said the Tour de France is the biggest remaining goal in his career but, at 34, time is quickly running out.


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