Exactly one year on from his 2012 Tour stage win in Annonay-Davezieux, David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) couldn’t quite repeat his heroics at the end of another day in the breakaway on stage 14 of this year’s Tour de France.
Having predicted the stage would be one for a successful break, the 36 year-old Scot was proved right in Lyon as Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) won from a group of 18 that took over an hour and a half to form at the beginning of the day.
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However Millar lost touch with the front of the race in the final 10km, lamenting his fading legs and the missed opportunity to take another Tour stage victory on the anniversary of British cyclist Tom Simpson’s death on Mont Ventoux in 1967.
“I forced the break to happen but as soon as I did that I realised that I wasn’t on a day to win,” he said. “I was over my limit the whole time.”
In a centenary Tour short on transitional stages, Millar identified just two stages – today and stage 16 -that could give a rider a chance of succeeding from a break. Today, a rolling day with seven categorised climbs but none above category three, offered him his best shot.
“I feel I kind of had to give everything to get in it,” he said. “I did that, but then I knew that I wasn’t on a day to win, and I was just praying to get caught, to be honest, for those first two hours. It was horrible, actually.”
Millar’s Tour debutant teammate Andrew Talansky also made the select group, giving Millar and Garmin a new opportunity; to bring the American back into the white jersey competition of best young rider.
“My quest for a stage win was out of the window pretty early but we did well getting Andrew back up into his objective,” Millar added.
The 24 year-old Talansky finished third on the stage and gained over seven minutes on current Tour white jersey Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), moving to one minute ten seconds of the Polish rider.
With the Alps on the horizon, Garmin will look to continue their aggressive Tour, although that might not include Millar.
“We will have a similar attitude to what we had in the Pyrenees,” Millar said, “and everyone seems to be in good spirits and in good condition, so there’s no reason why we won’t….why they won’t be attacking again.”
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Stage 14 by Graham Watson
Stage 13 by Graham Watson
Stage 12 by Graham Watson
Stage 11 by Graham Watson
Stage 10 by Graham Watson
Stage nine by Andy Jones
Stage nine by Graham Watson
Stage eight by Andy Jones
Stage eight by Graham Watson
Stage seven by Andy Jones
Stage seven by Graham Watson
Stage six by Andy Jones
Stage six by Graham Watson
Stage five by Andy Jones
Stage five by Graham Watson
Stage four by Andy Jones
Stage four by Graham Watson
Stage three by Graham Watson
Stage two by Graham Watson
Stage one by Graham Watson
Team presentation by Graham Watson