David Millar has become the favourite to win the "Battle for Beijing", a special one lap time trial at the Shropshire Star Newport Nocturne in the English town of Newport on Saturday, September 1st. Bradley Wiggins has been forced to pull out after his team called him up at the last minute to ride the GP Plouay, which is also this weekend.
Millar is in the form of his life after taking second place in the Eneco Tour, just a 11 seconds behind Jose Ivan Gutierrez of Caisse d'Epargne. But he will have to watch out for the points winner of the Eneco Tour, Mark Cavendish. Cavendish has had a phenomenal first year as a pro and his sprint, together with his proven ability as a track pursuiter means he also has a great chance to win. The time trial will also feature Geraint Thomas, youngest rider in this year's Tour de France, world champion and Olympic medallist Rob Hayles and local hopeful, Simon Holt.
"It's a shame Bradley can't make it to the Nocturne, he really wanted to ride and it would have been one of those rare races where he could have been based at his home instead of at some European hotel," said race promoter Nick Jeggo. "However, I'm sure it's still going to be a great race. Any of the five guys could win the time trial. The course is quite technical in places, but has two very long flat sections where the strongest riders can really use their power."
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