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Denis Menchov to race for Katusha in 2012

Russian Denis Menchov will race for the Katusha team from next season, moving from the soon-to-be defunct Geox-TMC squad, his new WorldTour team announced Monday.

2011 Giro d'Italia stage 16: Denis Menchov
Denis Menchov in the 2011 Giro d'Italia. Photo: Graham Watson (file)

Russian Denis Menchov will race for the Katusha team from next season, moving from the soon-to-be defunct Geox-TMC squad, his new WorldTour team announced Monday.

Menchov, 33, has twice made the podium in the Tour de France, posting third-place finishes in 2008 and 2010. He also won the Giro d’Italia in 2009 and the Vuelta a EspaƱa in 2005 and 2007.

The Russian, who this year missed the Tour for the first time in more than a decade when his team was not invited to race, said in October that he was not surprised when Italian shoemaker Geox pulled its support from the team, setting off a mad scramble by management to find sponsors and by riders to find other teams f0r 2012.

“It didn’t come as a complete surprise, because everything went wrong right from the beginning with this team,” Menchov said. “I am tranquil. I am talking to teams and they are of the top division.”

Menchov had a disappointing season this year, riding to eighth in the Giro, won by Alberto Contador, and fifth at the Vuelta, where instead of contending for the overall he found himself working for Spanish teammate Juan Jose Cobo, who won the race.