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The deal has been on the verge of completion for almost three months, but David Millar has finally signed a contract to join the Spanish Saunier Duval team until the end of the 2007 season. Millar won't be able to compete for Saunier until he has completed a two-year ban imposed after he admitted using the blood-booster EPO. The ban runs until just before next year's Tour, which is likely to be Millar's first race in Saunier colours.
In a statement on their website, Saunier said "David Millar has signed a contract linking him to the team until the end of 2007," Saunier Duval said in a statement released on their website. "He will be back on the road next June. He is a great rider, and in Saunier Duval we believe he deserves a second chance to display his talent."
In an interview in this month's edition of procycling, Millar says that his aim is to win the prologue of next year's Tour, plus a road stage, but plays down any ambition to win the overall title. "I want to get through. I think I'll be able to handle the pressure. I'll enjoy it, as hard as it may be," he tells procycling's Jeremy Whittle in his first setpiece interview since being banned last year.
Millar talks about his targets for the next three seasons, explaining how he plans to focus on races such as Paris-Nice, before turning his attention to the overall titles at the major tours. He also says how he would like to see more out-of-competition testing done on riders in order to cut down on instances of doping.
"Cycling needs these kind of testing tactics, and I think all sport does. Why don't the UCI publish lists of who they random test each month and the results so that we know they're doing it?" he asks.
Millar states that he won't dope again. "The only way I can prove that to people is through rigorous and regular testing, whether it's by the UCI or British Cycling. I'm happy to submit to that and to make myself available at all times. I have no choice," he says, insisting that he wants his comeback to be credible.
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