Menchov philosophical after near-miss in Paris-Nice
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Friday, March 8, 2013

Menchov philosophical after near-miss in Paris-Nice

by Shane Stokes at 5:28 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Paris-Nice
Russian rider caught by Porte inside final kilometre of stage

Denis MenchovDenis Menchov has looked on the bright side of his showing today in Paris-Nice, proclaiming himself ‘quite happy’ despite being caught and passed by Richie Porte close to the line and missing out on an otherwise certain stage win.

The Russian rider rode in a conservative way for much of the climb, biding his time as other riders attacked in a bid to drop the yellow jersey Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp). He then surged ahead inside the final three kilometres of the stage and opened up a solid.

Menchov had started the stage thirtieth overall, one minute 18 seconds back and so was not on the danger list as far as the general classification contenders were concerned. They stalled after he surged, looking at each other, and this gave him the chance to pull clear.

However Porte’s subsequent attack was too strong and the Australian was able to catch, pass and drop him, taking the stage victory for himself.

“Today we planned to try something in the final climb. I felt good during the stage, and in the last part I tried to save some energies for my attack,” said Menchov. “I think I attacked in the right moment.

“I did my best to take the victory, but in the last kilometre Porte passed me, he had too high a speed, so I could not follow him.”

Porte soloed in 26 seconds ahead of the Katusha rider, who was in turn seven seconds ahead of the next chasers. While the move didn’t pay off with the victory this time, it will serve as encouragement for a rider who had an at-times difficult season last year, and who is nearing the end of his career.

“I'm quite happy with my performance and the team's one, it was an important test for us,” he said. “But, of course, I'm a little disappointed because I didn't win.”

Menchov is now nineteenth overall, one minute 41 seconds back.


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