Gilberto Simoni complimented Denis Menchov's performance in winning the centennial Giro d'Italia on Sunday. Menchov won a close battle against Simoni's former teammate, Danilo Di Luca.
"It was a special Giro: hard, intense and difficult. Plus, there was this extra bit of emotion surrounding the centennial edition. Menchov was able to defend himself well against Danilo. He took the jersey in the time trial and no one could ever steal it from his grasp."
Menchov finished 41 seconds ahead of the 2007 champion, registering his first Giro d'Italia win and adding to his two Vuelta a España titles.
"He [Di Luca] tried everything, but the normal road bike he rode in the [Cinque Terre] time trial was his only mistake."
Simoni, 37, won the race in 2001 and 2003, but in his 11th year of racing he finished 46 minutes down on Menchov. His Diquigiovanni team won three stages – two with Michele Scarponi and one with Leonardo Bertagnolli.
"It feels like I have ridden 100 editions, the results don't show it but I feel great here in Rome. Now is not the time to think [if I will race] next year, we will see if someone convinces me."
Simoni won stage three and held the lead in the Vuelta Mexico in March. His last Giro d'Italia win came in 2007, the stage to Monte Zoncolan.