Menchov to focus on Tour, skip Giro defense

2009 Giro d'Italia champion Denis Menchov will not defend his title in the Italian race, and will choose to train at altitude during the month of May in preparation for the Tour de France, the Rabobank team announced at its presentation in Rotterdam.

"The decision was made in consultation with the rider," said director Adri van Houwelingen in Ahoy. "We had already discussed it, but  everything moved quickly when the route of the Giro was announced.

"The last week [of the Giro] is very difficult, and it is not good preparation for the Tour de France, which is the main objective," said Van Houwelingen.

Menchov will be a co-team leader with Dutch climber Robert Gesink.

The Rabobank team presented its 2010 roster on Friday in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The Dutch ProTour team features riders from six nations with two-thirds of them being Dutch.

Thirteen different riders won races for Rabobank in 2009, most notably Denis Menchov who won two stages and the overall at the Centenary Giro d'Italia.

The team signed two new riders for 2010, Dutch talents Steven Kruijswijk and Dennis van Winden, each of whom move to the ProTour team from the Rabobank Continental squad.

Click here for a gallery of photos from the Rabobank team launch.

2010 Rabobank team roster:

Mauricio Ardila (Col), Lars Boom (Ned), Graeme Brown (Aus), Stef Clement (Ned), Rick Flens (Ned), Oscar Freire (Spa), Juan Manuel Garate (Spa), Robert Gesink (Ned), Dmitry Kozontchouk (Rus), Steven Kruijswijk (Ned), Sebastian Langeveld (Ned), Tom Leezer (Ned), Paul Martens (Ger), Denis Menchov (Rus), Koos Moerenhout (Ned), Bauke Mollema (Ned), Grischa Niermann (Ger), Nick Nuyens (Bel), Joost Posthuma (Ned), Kai Reus (Ned), Tom Stamsnijder (Ned), Bram Tankink (Ned), Laurens ten Dam (Ned), Maarten Tjallingii (Ned), Jos van Emden (Ned), Dennis van Winden (Ned) and Pieter Weening (Ned).

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