Menchov about to sign with Katusha for 2012?

After a slow start, Denis Menchov (Geox-TMC) has found his legs on this Giro.

After a slow start, Denis Menchov (Geox-TMC) has found his legs on this Giro. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Denis Menchov is said to be on the brink of signing with Katusha for the coming year.  The Russian would share the team leadership with Joaquim Rodriguez, with the pair dividing up the grand tours between them. cites the Moscow News as saying Menchov's signing is “imminent.”  Menchov said, “Personally I'm ready to sign.  We have discussed the fundamental aspects of the contract.  Now everything depends on the decision of the management team.

“Katusha is very interested and I've said many times that I was interested. For me and my career, it is the right decision.”

Menchov rode this year for Geox, which is still searching for a sponsor for the coming year.  He finished only eighth in the Giro d'Italia and fifth in the Vuelta a Espana. He has won both races in the past, the Giro in 2009 and the Vuelta in 2005 and 2007.

Rodriguez has already said that he would like to target both the Giro and the Vuelta, which would leave the Tour de France for the Russian.  Next year's Tour is more suited to Menchov than to Rodriguez, anyway, as it contains nearly 100 km in time trial.

He had hoped to take Geox teammates Mauricio Ardila and Dmitriy Kozontchuk with him, but admitted that now looks unlikely.  “Autum is coming to an end and the available space is tight everywhere and Katusha is no exception. I can only say that we will talk about it.”

Menchov is already thinking about the coming year,saying that after vacation he has started on “a general physical preparation. In late November, I have plans to start more seriously and take the bike. I'll try to get in good form earlier this season.”

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