Another prestigious victory for Katusha Team in “Vuelta a Espana”: the fourth triumph for the professional team of the Russian Cycling Global Project is signed by Denis Menchov, that took a great win in the demanding uphill of Bola del Mundo, where the queen stage of the main Spanish competition ended at the end of a long breakaway. The escape was made by 19 riders, between whom Mikhail Ignatyev and Menchov: the group ahead was able to take even 11’ over the chase, leaded by the team of the leader Alberto Contador, “Saxo Bank-Tinkoff”. The crucial moment of the stage happened in the first part of Bola del Mundo, an 11,4 kilometers long climbing that brought the riders to the finishing line, with an average pendence of 8,3%: Eros Capecchi (Liquigas-Cannondale) was the first to attack, followed by Maxime Bouet (AG2R la Mondiale) and Kevin De Weert (Omega Pharma-Quick Step). Menchov and Richie Porte reached the three ahead in a second moment, but they imposed an incredible pace to which nobody could resist. The duo stayed ahead together until 200 meters to go, when the Russian rider of Katusha Team made his explosive rush and took the win with 17’’ over Porte and 42’’ over De Weert. While Menchov won the stage, in the main group Joaquim Rodriguez attacked in the last climbing: his rivals of general classification, Alberto Contador and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), couldn’t resist to his action and dropped. ‘Purito’ reached the podium 25’’ before Valverde and 44’’ over Contador: not enough to move in overall ranking, but good for keeping the leadership of points and allround classification.
Menchov: "I'm very happy I won the queen stage of this 'Vuelta', it was extremely hard but I felt very well today. I want to thank Igor Makarov and Itera that always supported me. Unfortunately it was hard for me to get in the best condition and recover from 'Tour de France' and the Olympic Games, so it was difficult to reach my top shape. I think 'Purito' could have obtained a better position, if the team didn't have that bad day: but that's cycling, it can happen to everybody. Anyways we did a great 'Vuelta', we're on the podium, we took 4 stage wins and we're about to win two jerseys".
Rodriguez: “I’m very happy about my shape today, unfortunately I didn’t manage to take at least the second place of general classification. Anyways, my team’s and my performance in this ‘Vuelta’ were fantastic: four stage wins, we're about to win points and allround classification. And let’s not forget the fifth place of Moreno in overall standings and the prestigious victory of Menchov in today’s Bola del Mundo. If I think that the strongest won the overall ranking? Yes I do, the classification never lies”.