Menchov building for Tour de France

Denis Menchov's goal is later in the year

Denis Menchov's goal is later in the year (Image credit: Bert Geerts)

Denis Menchov has no concerns over the 2009 Tour de France route. Counting on the support of his teammates, the former Vuelta winner and Rabobank leader believes the profile of the race is no different than previous editions of the event .

Interviewed on the team's website,, the Russian said that the winter went well for him. "I am not in super from yet, but that wasn't the plan." The Russian will count on a better team this year. "The young riders have improved again and our new hires will surely strengthen our team."

To build up to the Tour, the 31-year-old will ride Murcia, Castilla y León and Romandie, followed by the Giro d'Italia, in which he finished fifth last year. In June, the Dutch ProTour team will hold a training camp to prepare for the Tour. "I am riding a similar programme to last year," Menchov said.

He has opened his season with the Vuelta a Andalucía , which is currently underway until February 19. Although he says he has not had, "a particularly good day," he goes into Wednesday's third stage in 18th place, only 17 seconds down. "However, I am still building my strength and this is more of a training week."(SW)

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