Menchov returns at Castilla y Leon
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Menchov returns at Castilla y Leon

by Jered Gruber at 1:13 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Castilla y León

Three-time Grand Tour winner, Denis Menchov, will resume his 2010 campaign with this week's five-day stage race, the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon.

Menchov has been absent from racing for three weeks now after withdrawing from the Vuelta a Catalunya as a result of respiratory issues caused by springtime allergies.

Menchov's health is back to 100%, but the goals for Castilla y Leon will be modest says Rabobank director sportif, Adri van Houwelingen: "It will be Denis' first race back since Catalunya, where he was never really tested. We must therefore rate this more as a preparation for Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Tour of Romandie."

Menchov put in a solid ride at Castilla y Leon in 2009 ahead of his Giro victory. He tallied up a number of solid stage placings and finished a respectable 5th overall behind Levi Leipheimer, Alberto Contador, David Zabriskie, and surprise 4th place finisher and teammate, Stef Clement.

Van Houwelingen downplayed any hopes of moving forward on GC in 2010: "He is not here to to win, but to restore the rhythm of the racing."

The Vuelta a Castilla y Leon begins on Wednesday with a rolling stage to Burgos that should result in a bunch gallop. The same formula should hold for Stage 2 as well, but the fun will begin in earnest with Stage 3's mountaintop finish to the Category One Alto del Morredero. The classification hopefuls will be called upon one more time in Stage 4's 15 km, hilly time trial. Afterwards, all that will be left is a routine sprint stage to Santiago de Compostela to round out the five days in the northern province of Castilla y Leon.

Stage 1: April 14 - Belorado to Burgos, 158 km
Stage 2: April 15 - Burgos to Carrion de los Condes, 210 km
Stage 3: April 16 - Leon to Alto del Morredero, 159 km
Stage 4: April 17 - Ponferrada Time Trial, 15 km
Stage 5: April 18 - Samos to Santiago de Compostela 172 km

Menchov will not be defending his Giro d'Italia title in May, but will instead focus all of his efforts on the one Grand Tour title that has eluded him so far: the Tour de France.


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