David Millar could not believe it when his chain snapped just a kilometre from the finish of the stage to Contursi Terme. He had been part of the five-rider break for 184km and looked the favourite to win the stage but then his hopes of victory disappeared in a split second.
Millar?s chain snapped when he stood on the pedals and tried to chase Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff). Instead of getting on the young Russian?s wheel, he almost crashed and came to a sudden halt.
Brutt took advantage of the confusion and powered away to win the stage. Millar showed his anger by throwing his bike over the barriers and letting out a angry ??f_ _k? that echoed round the valley.
He eventually got a new bike from the Slipstream team car and finished several minutes down but was given the same time as Francisco Perez Sanchez (Caisse d?Epargne) who finished fourth. It was of little comfort after losing a great chance of a Giro stage win.
Millar was still angry when he crossed the finish line. He grabbed a drink from his soigneur but quickly headed back down the climb to the Slipstream bus.
Later Millar explained what happened.
?I was sure I?d win, I?d worked out my strategy for the finale and was watching my rivals. Then suddenly my chain exploded. I couldn?t believe it,? Millar said.
?I was so motivated and focused in the last three kilometres. I?d chased some moves and was waiting for the right moment to go myself but then it was all over. When I saw what had happened I couldn?t believe it and threw my bike over the barrier in anger.?
?It?s incredible to think that my chain snapped in the final kilometre of the stage as I was about to try and win. What are the odds of that happening? Unfortunately I similar problems in the prologue of the centenary Tour de France and I also threw my bike that time as well.?
Millar managed a smile as he rued his bad luck and promised he would try to win another stage later in the Giro.
“I?m definitely going to try to win another stage. Yeah. Not tomorrow because I need to recover from a long breakaway like that, but I?m going to try again for sure. This was one of the stages I?d marked to give it a go but there are more in the second week.?
GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: STAGE REPORTS
Stage five: Millar denied by snapped chain at the last
Stage four: Cavendish wins
Stage three: Bennati romps home
Stage two: Ricco wins Giro d’Italia second stage
Stage one TTT: Slipstream wins Giro team time trial
GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: NEWS
Reaction to Cavendish’s Giro stage win
Cav hits back at Pozzato’s snipe
Cavendish: This is my biggest win [stage four]
Millar celebrates Slipstream Giro d’Italia success
Bettini looking for final Giro glory
Astana’s troubled build-up to the Giro
Petacchi banned for Salbutamol positive
Yates and Astana make last minute rush to Giro
GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: PHOTOS
Giro d’Italia 2008: Photo gallery. New photos added daily