David Millar (Saunier Duval) had promised before the start that he would attack and kept his word, being one of the first riders to attack on the road between Pau and Castelsarrasin on Thursday.
The Scot was determined to fight back and take his own personal stand after the doping accusations and scandals thatt have rocked the Tour de France in recent days. He worked hard in the eight-rider break that escaped the grip of the bunch but was dropped on the last short climb of the stage, 19km from the finish. The stage was won by Italy’s Daniele Bennati (Lampre) who beat Markus Fothen (Gerolsteiner) in a sprint at the end of the 188.5km stage.
Millar was disappointed not to have won but was satisfied with his ride.
?I just didn?t have the legs today, right from the start. It?s mind over matter,” Millar said, his arms and legs covered in thick sun block to protect him the return of his sun allergy.
?When I went it was the right moment and I was strong enough to do that but when Jens Voigt and the others came up to me he was already putting completely me in the hurt bag, as my friend Stuart O?Grady would say.?
?I kind of knew I was day of suffering but I was pleased to be up there and I?m satisfied with my performance considering. I?m getting better as the race goes on. I felt crap from the beginning from the start to the end but I really want to win today. To what I did, feeling like this is pretty good and I?ll try again tomorrow. I?m not giving up yet.?
Millar was asked about the mood in the peloton after Michael Rasmussen was pulled out of the Tour de France by his Rabobank team but he joked that he did not know because he spent all the stage in the break.
?I wasn?t in the peloton. I was talking to the journalists before the start and then I attacked from the gun! I thought that if I won I could stand up and say something but I didn?t have the legs. My mind was there but my legs weren?t.?
Millar promised he would attack again during Friday?s stage but could also be a favourite for Saturday?s final time trial around Cognac. Alberto Contador and Cadel Evans will be fighting for the yellow jersey but Millar will be trying to win the stage.