20:23 GMT +3 hours26 November 2014
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Menchov Wins 20th Stage of Vuelta

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Russian rider Denis Menchov won the 20th stage of the Vuelta a Espana for the Katusha team on Saturday.

Russian rider Denis Menchov won the 20th stage of the Vuelta a Espana for the Katusha team on Saturday.

Two-time Vuelta general classification winner Menchov, 34, had earlier said that he dreamed of a stage win to brighten an otherwise unimpressive race.

Alberto Contador continues to lead the general classification, 1 minute 16 seconds ahead of Alejandro Valverde, with Menchov's teammate Joaquim Rodriguez 21 seconds further back.

"The Vuelta wasn't turning out as I wanted it to, and this victory on the penultimate stage is very important to me, because the stage is very difficult to win," Menchov said.

"I was doing my job on the stage, trying to get ahead to help Joaquim Rodriguez, but then, during the race, felt the strengt to win today," he added.

"I managed to win, and, of course, I'm very happy about it."

Katusha captain Joaquim Rodriguez was ninth, finishing 3 minutes 31 seconds behind Menchov and beating the general classification runner-up Alejandro Valverde by 25 seconds.

"Menchov's win is very important for the team, it's a good thing that he was able to win today," Rodriguez said after the finish.

"As for me, today I really wanted to get around Alejandro Valverde and I did it thanks to a good ending of the stage, and I'm certainly happy about it," he added.

The Vuelta concludes in Madrid on Sunday with the 115-kilometer long 21st stage.