Menshov triumphs at Giro d'Italia

Denis Menshov and Italian President Giorgio Napolitano (AFP Photo / Italian Presidency press office / Pool / Enrico Oliverio)
Cyclist Denis Menshov has become the first Russian in 13 years to win the Giro d'Italia. The three-week tour ended on Sunday with a nine mile time-trial through the streets of Rome.

The Russian had a 20-second lead over his nearest rival Danilo Di Luca. Menshov finished tenth in the final stage, but it was enough to see the Rabobank team rider keep his pink jersey.

The Russian took the overall lead thanks to victory in stage 12 of 21-stage race and never gaveit away to anybody.

Di Luca finished the tour second, while another home cyclist Franco Pellizotti is third.

“It was a very, very big satisfaction for me. The best moment of my career, for sure,” Denis Menshov said to the New York Times. “I think I am one of the best in the world and it is in my possibility to win the Tour de France. I don’t know if I’m going to do it because it takes a good team and a lot of luck, but I know I am able to do it someday.”

31-year-old Denis Menshov adds the Giro d'Italia success to his two wins in the Tour of Spain in 2005 and 2007.