Menchov’s Tour build-up disrupted by illness
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Menchov’s Tour build-up disrupted by illness

by VeloNation Press at 6:51 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Injury
 
Russian hopes for quick recovery from bronchitis

Denis MenchovRabobank rider Denis Menchov missed the Giro d’Italia in order to try to better prepare for this year’s Tour de France, but has had a setback in terms of his training.

He was scheduled to travel to the Sierra Nevada in Spain for altitude training, joining up with Robert Gesink and Laurens ten Dam and working with the coach Louis Delahaye. However those plans have been put on hold for now due to illness.

“Menchov said that he would delay his departure a few days because of bronchitis,” said the team on its website. “The Russian is being treated with antibiotics. He hopes to travel to the Sierra Nevada on Thursday to join his colleagues. The decision about that will be made in the next few days.”

Menchov got his season off to a very strong start with second in the Vuelta a Murcia in early March, but then dropped out of the Volta a Catalunya later that month due to allergies. Things have gone well since then, with ninth in the Vuelta a Castilla y León being followed by third place overall in the Tour de Romandie.

“I still don’t have my top form, but it was reasonable. I am satisfied,” he said after the Swiss race. “It was difficult to win here. Valverde is in very good shape and I'm pretty good, but far from super.

"In 2009 I was very close to a peak at this stage. It was right before the Giro and I wanted to reach my maximum condition,” he said. “Now the peak is much further off and at this stage of the training you don’t want to build further than I have now. Romandie fits perfectly in there. And third is actually quite good. I am very satisfied.”

Falling sick before the planned session of altitude training is an unwelcome disruption, but one which will not be too serious if the illness passes quickly. If it lingers, though, it will compromise his build-up for the Tour and that could have an effect on his chances of bettering his fourth overall (later upgraded to third after Bernhard Kohl’s disqualification) in the race.

The 32 year old is due to compete in the Dauphiné Libéré as his final pre-Tour event. The Sierra Nevada sessions are designed to get ready for that race, which begins in two and a half weeks with a 6.8 kilometre prologue in Evian-les-Bains.

Menchov won the Giro d’Italia last year but then flopped in the Tour de France, placing only 51st overall in Paris. Missing the chance to defend his title this year is intended to avoid any similar problems.

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