Briton David Millar?s latest bid for the Tour de France yellow jersey on stage seven disintegrated after a puncture at the worst possible moment.

A five-man move containing Millar mid-way through the stage was looking promising, but at 25 seconds it was still too close a call. Then suddenly a front wheel puncture saw Millar?s chances of staying away begin to deflate rapidly.

?I?d been attacking since the gun.? Millar, who?d been lying fifth overall before the stage, told

French television afterwards.

?I?d finally got the break going, when it all fell apart because of the puncture. It was a slow one, so I kept going for 15 kilometres, but the gap wasn?t big enough for us to stay away.?

Millar said he had told his team-mates he had been hoping to make it into yellow that morning. But bad luck made even trying to do that impossible. The Scot will battle on in the Tour, but team-mate Magnus Backstedt failed to make the time cut by five minutes and 32 seconds.

?He was just unable to make it, it was very fast and things didn?t work out.? team manager

Jonathan Vaughters told Cycling Weekly.

Backstedt will now make his return to racing in the Tour of Denmark in August.

TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: STAGE REPORTS

Stage seven: Sanchez takes action-packed stage

Stage six: Ricco storms to win

Stage five: Cavendish takes first Tour win

Stage four: Schumacher wins TT and takes race lead

Stage three: Dumoulin wins stage from break

Stage two: Hushovd wins chaotic sprint

Stage one: Valverde wins

TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: NEWS

Comment: How the Tour rediscovered its spirit

Doping back in Tour de France headlines

Millar: close but no cigar in Super-Besse [stage six]

Super-Besse shows form of main contenders [stage six]

Millar to go for yellow [stage six]

Team Columbia’s reaction to Cavendish’s win [stage five]

Cavendish talks about his Tour stage win

Tour comment: Why Evans should be happy [stage four]

Millar: Still aiming for Tour yellow jersey [stage 4]

Who is Romain Feillu?

Cavendish disappointed with stage two result

Millar too close to Tour yellow jersey

Stage 2 preview: A sprint finish for Cavendish?

Millar happy after gains precious seconds in Plumelec

Valverde delighted with opening Tour stage win

Comment: Is Valverde’s win a good thing for the Tour?

TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: PHOTOS

Stage six

Stage five

Stage four

Stage three

Stage two

Stage one

TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: GUIDE

Tour de France 2008 homepage>>

News and features>>

All the riders (start list, list of abandons)>>

Tour 2008: Day by day summary

Route & stages>>

Teams and riders>>

About the Tour>>