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Menchov abandons Tour of Belgium

Denis Menchov

Denis Menchov (Image credit: Bert Geerts/

Denis Menchov (Rabobank) made an early exit from the Tour of Belgium on Wednesday. The Russian rider withdrew just 30km into stage 1 according to the team's website, He pulled out on a wet, windy first day of the race.

Menchov was hoping to make his comeback to racing after suffering bronchitis. He was almost recovered, but apparently not enough to continue racing in the day's dreary conditions.

"It was hectic in the peloton in the rain and the wind. There was lots of fighting for position and once Denis came off, it no longer made sense for him to keep going," said Directeur Sportif Jan Boven.

Menchov also recently had to cancel a period of training in the Sierra Nevada mountains. He had decided not to race the Giro d'Italia this month in order to focus completely on the Tour de France.

Team management still intends for the Russian to start the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré on Sunday, June 6.

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