14 May 2009

Menchov wins 5th stage of Giro

6:12 am on 14 May 2009

Russia's Denis Menchov has won the 125-km fifth stage of the Giro d'Italia while Lance Armstrong slipped back after a punishing mountain climb.

Menchov pulled away on the final straight and although Danilo Di Luca had no energy to respond, the Italian clung on to take second spot and seize the race lead.

Seven-times Tour de France winner Armstrong, who made a bright start to the Giro having only just recovered from a broken collarbone, found the stage tough and is 3 and a half minutes back in 22nd place overall.

The New Zealander Julian Dean, a sprint setup specialist, was again well down the field and has admitted that he is paying the price for not being fully fit going into the Tour.