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Menchov takes 92nd Giro

Down but not out… Rabobank rider Denis Menchov won the 92nd Giro d’Italia on Sunday despite a crash within one kilometre from the finish.

The final stage was a 14.4km time trial in Rome and Menchov slipped out on the rain-soaked cobbles and slid down the road.

But he jumped up, and with some help from a perfect bike change from his mechanic, waged an adrenaline-fueled dash to the line to save the day. Menchov finished 10th on the day and 21 seconds faster than second overall Danilo Di Luca.

The stage was won by the Lithuanian time trial champion, Ignatas Konovalovas (Cervelo TestTeam), who was one of the last riders to enjoy a dry course. The 23-year-old slipped in one second faster than Garmin-Slipstream’s Bradley Wiggins, who encountered the rain on the last half of his race.

The normally stony-faced Russian let out a rare display of emotion as he crossed the line, dropped his bike and pumped both fists in the air and roared with joy.

The final victory margin was just 41sec clear of Di Luca and 1:59 ahead of another Italian Franco Pellizotti.

The South African ride ended with John-Lee Augustyn 1:43 behind on the day and in 77th overall in the general classification (2hr 30min 38sec behind). Fellow Barloworld rider and South African Robbie Hunter took 154th overall (4:12:47 back).


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