Denis Menshov was born on January 25, 1978 in Orel city, which is situated in the European part of Russia, in Central Russian Upland and lies on both sides of the river Oka and its tributary Orlik. There were no professional sportsmen in Denis's family, though he was fond of sports from early childhood. At first he was keen on football – liking, that the majority of boys are faithful to. But when he was 11, he started attending different sports groups, changed football to ski racing and gave almost all his spare time to sport. One day some man came to their classroom and said: "Children, my name is Aleksey Aleksandrovich and if you want to try cycle racing – we are waiting for you in our group".
And how!!! Who of the boys didn't dream of a new racing bicycle!!
The matter was decided. He didn't realize yet, that before he receives that brand new bicycle he will face a long period of hard trainings, suffer a lot of pain and shed a lot of sweat and sometimes even blood. As cycle racing is a sport for real man.
Thus we may consider spring 1989 as the beginning of considerable way of the future cycle racing star in a professional cycle sport. His first coach was Aleksey Aleksandrovich Afonin.
At first it was not so interesting. Many boys, which came together with Denis, soon stopped attending trainings. Alas, the sport group had very poor cycle fleet and it was not enough for all comers that is why boys spent more time on physical training. His love for sport, desire to be stronger and tolerant helped Denis during this hard period. And later the guys received their first cycles, not new – but they were real racing bicycles! In a year the group has taken part in their first competition, which was held in Orel. Denis remembered his first start – he was training a lot of time, he experienced his first pre-race excitement and as a result he received the first place in his age group!
Starting from this moment he felt a sport heat, once you taste the win – you want to try it again and again. At that time Denis has decided to go in for cycle racing professionally.
Until 1992 Menshov performed for Orel regional team, year by year he was getting more experienced and strong in youth competitions. In 1993 at Russias championship of Juniors, which was held in native Orel, Yuriy Mikhaylovich Dvinin – coach of the best at that moment team CSKA - has noted young racer. Denis was invited to perform for army club, and Orel’s school had to let him go. He needed professional growth, and CSKA showed more possibilities for that. The team took part in all Russian competitions and a lot of time spent on team practice sessions. Denis was training in CSKA and later in CSKA-LADA Samara till 1998. Being a junior Denis proved himself to be a very strong and universal racer, with a character of winner that is free to take leadership in racing and award his team for good work with a victory. He passed through many racings together with CSKA and his friendly team, there were victories and failures, but every year Denis was developing his skills and becoming stronger and stronger.
1 – these years were notified as a confrontation of CSKA and cycle school "Agidel" from Ufa. At that time guys from Ufa often appeared stronger.
1996 – it was the first considerable win, which was taken during famous days-long racing in Sochi, as he was a junior and racing was for adult men! In the same year he won International cycle racing in Greece and many different competitions in Russia.
In the 1997 he had to pass from junior to adult group, but even among men Denis kept his head and new victories not taken long to appear. During that year –
“CSKA-LADA Samara” stood out in Europe – France, Belgium, Luxemburg and Spain - they had incredible quantity of starts in racings of different levels. Denis managed to demonstrate his high class in mountain racing in Spain and received first wins in adult group on the international level.
In 1998 together with his team Denis was preparing for famous racing “Ronde de l'lsard” in France. One year before he had taken 4th place in it, and now was going to requite. "Ronde de l'lsard" is a racing, where professional teams managers were searching for new talents. Everything was excellent then and the team worked perfectly. Denis was 100% ready and he got steady win in general classification. So he was noticed and invited to amateur group of one of the best teams in cycle sport history – it was Spanish BANESTO.
In 1999 Denis came to Spain, where he had a perfect season and signed his first true contract with great Spanish team. His professional career started at that very moment and it still leads to new and new heights of great cycle racing!
Family, friends and fans.
Menshov's big family consists of 5 persons. Denis met his wife Nadezhda in 1999, when he moved to Spain, and after 2 years, in 2001 they got married in Orel, their native city. Little time passed and Denis and Nadezhda already have 3 children - you must agree that it is unbelievable achievement, mostly from the part of Nadezhda.
The elder from young Menshov's – Ivan was born March 6, 2003. He didn't wait long for his brother -Alexander was born January 22, 2005. And the youngest now is Agatha, born December 17, 2006. And of course we should mention the nanny, which was helping Nadia with firstborn until now.
The family is trying to spend more time together, but daddy's profession often separate them, especially during French Tournament or Spanish Vuelta. They altogether watch daddys racings and the time passes quickly.
While having long racings Nadezhda with children usually go to Orel, where grandmothers and grandfathers are waiting for them impatiently. Denis's family are his most faithful fans!
A lot of Denis's friends in Orel, Moscow, Saphonovo, Tambov, Krasnodar, Omsk and many other cities worry about him – all of those who started cycle racing with him and went through so many kilometres in one group!
Denis has got an enormous fan army – our whole country, not only watching his performances, but being a real fan! We lose voices and automatically turn pedals sitting on the sofa and wishing little by little failure for all rivals!
Thank you, Denis!