Denis Menchov says he deserved more respect from Katusha because he is Russian
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Saturday, December 04, 2010

Denis Menchov says he deserved more respect from Katusha because he is Russian

by Ben Atkins at 7:50 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
New Geox rider explains decision not to sign for Andre Tchmil’s team

denis menchovDenis Menchov feels that he deserved a different approach from Andre Tchmil’s Katusha team, which is why he decided to go elsewhere, he told Spanish website biciciclismo.com. The Russian, who has signed for the new Geox-TMC team after six years at Rabobank, was reacting to an interview with Tchmil on Russian website Sovsport.ru, where the former Classics legend expressed disappointment that he was unable to sign Menchov this year.

“When we invited him to join the team in 2008 he replied that he didn’t know how the team would go,” Tchmil said. “He said that it wasn’t clear who else would ride on the team, what the calendar would look like, or who the coaches would be.

“I thought at the time: ‘this man thinks sensibly!’

“And now, Tchmil continued, “two years on we made a sensible offer but instead of Katusha he prefers to go to a completely new team. He listened to his Italian manager, who told him to choose Geox.”

It seems though, according to Menchov’s statements to Biciciclismo, that it was not Katusha’s offer itself that the Tour de France third place didn’t like, but the way it was made.

“The situation was a bit strange,” said Menchov. “His [Tchmil’s] behavior didn’t seem the best, although he defends his position and I defend mine. I think that I deserved a different attitude.

“Being a Russian team and and a national project of cycling,” he explained, “I think that I ought to have had a different approach; not the same as with the rest of the riders who were in the market.

“I do not know what the idea was or what was the point of view, but is illogical,” he continued. “There are national projects such as the one from Kazakhstan [Astana – ed] and there was no doubt that was where Vinokourov would ride. The Sky project: where Wiggins had a contract with Garmin and Sky made every effort to bring the best British rider to the national team. It’s the same with Andy Schleck and the Luxembourg team.

“But that was not my case,” he concluded, “and it was that which seemed strange.”

It seems that, while Andre Tchmil was apparently not ready to afford Menchov the respect deserving of a three-time Grand Tour winner (two Vueltas a España and one Giro d’Italia) and two-time Tour de France podium finisher, Mauro Gianetti was. As well as liking the offer made by the man creating the new Geox-TMC team, who is also the current boss of the Footon-Servetto team, Menchoz also apparently liked the way in which it was made.

“Gianetti I already knew, had always been interested in me” he said, “we even talked about it a couple of years ago.

“I was treated with respect and interest,” he explained. “I think that Gianetti and [Joxean] Matxin are good people and have a serious sponsor with serious ideas, which further motivates me.”

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