After a week of thrills and spills in the sprints, it is time for the 52km time trial around Rennes on Saturday and David Millar is determined to get a result and could perhaps even gain enough time to pull on the yellow jersey.
The 29-year-old Scot was banned for two years and stripped of his gold medal from the 2003 world championship time trial after he admitted taking the banned blood-booster EPO in 2001 and 2003. Now having served his ban, Millar has worked hard to return to professional racing and is enjoying suffering in the Tour.
He has ridden consistently well during the first week of the Tour and is only 41 second behind race leader Tom Boonen. More importantly, he is only 16 seconds down on time trial rival George Hincapie, with other favourites such as Paolo Savoldelli, Floyd Landis and Serhiy Honchar even closer.
Speaking to the Reuters news agency, Millar confirmed he was happy to be back and ready to ride well in the time trial.
“It feels good, I?m really enjoying it. Things have all been very good since the start of the Tour. It has been lovely, actually,” Millar said.
?It has been very good being back and every one in the peloton has been very respectful, which is great. I now remember what it is like to manage tiredness and psychological strength in the course of a grand Tour like this, but I?m trying to adapt one day at a time.”
Millar won the final time trial stage of the 2003 Tour de France in nearby Nantes and likes the course of the 52km test around Rennes.
“It’s a beautiful course. It’s flat, with some false flat parts at the beginning. I would be very happy with a top five finish.”
Thanks to his 14th place overall, Millar will have the advantage of a late start in the time trial and have Christophe Moreau (Ag2r) to chase along the country roads of Brittany.