Denis Menchov will target overall victory at the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España after learning that his Geox-TMC has not been invited to the Tour de France. The Russian also insisted that he envisages no problems in sharing the calendar with co-leader Carlos Sastre.
“I like the Giro and then I’ll try and win the Vuelta also,” Menchov told Marca. Menchov won centenary edition of the Italian race in 2009, although his team is not yet guaranteed its place at this year’s event. With two Vueltas a España in his palmares, Menchov will also be hopeful that his squad can secure a berth there in August.
However, not even the presence of 2008 Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre in the Geox-TMC roster, allied to Menchov’s own podium finish last year, could earn the team a place at this year’s Tour. Geox-TMC were also omitted from the line-ups for Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico in the past week, but an invitation to Milan-San Remo could be a positive sign for the team's Giro hopes.
The squad’s seemingly limited race programme means that Menchov and Sastre will be forced to chase the same objectives, but Menchov is insistent that there will be no disagreements between them.
“The fact that Sastre might have the same goals as me is not a problem,” he said. “We will ride as a team and from time to time we will decide who must help whom.
“I know Carlos for years, although not very well. But we got along well and out relationship is growing day by day."
Menchov joined Geox-TMC ahead of the 2011 season after a successful spell with Rabobank that yield three Grand Tour titles. In spite of a turbulent start at Mauro Gianetti’s squad, Menchov is adamant that he made the right move.
“I’m very happy to be here,” he said. “It’s a good group that is working well.”
Marca also reports that Menchov will begin his season at the Challenge Mallorca, before riding the Ruta del Sol, Tour of Catalonia and Tour de Romandie in preparation for the Giro.