David Millar has had surgery on the broken collarbone he sustained during the final stage of Paris-Nice.
The operation, in Sheffield on Thursday, means he’ll be out for a minimum of four weeks. The Garmin rider was brought down in a crash caused by a Silence-Lotto rider Jurgen Van den Broeck.
Speaking to Cyclingnews directly from his hospital bed in Sheffield, Millar explained why he’d delayed the operation: “I spent quite a lot of time researching the injury and had ten different consultations before finally settling on this one. I wanted it done properly so I was operated on by David Potter, who is a world-leading specialist in this field. He’s operated on a number of cyclists, including Ben Swift.”
In a career that has spanned more than a decade, this was Millar’s first collarbone break. He explained that the injury wasn’t clean, with the bone breaking into several pieces. “It broke into three pieces and was tore off the ligament. It was one of the worst injuries my surgeon has seen.”
No plates or screws were involved in the surgery. Instead Potter carried out a ‘tight-rope’ procedure that involved a artificial suspension between bone and ligament.
Millar crashed during the final stage of the race, just as Alberto Contador (Astana) attacked at the foot of the Col de Porte. “It was a stupid crash. Christian (Vande Velde) and I were positioning ourselves near the front of the field and Van den Broeck panicked and came screaming up the left side. As he did his skewer jammed into my wheel and catapulted me through the air. Due to irresponsible riding and a lack of respect he’s taken me out. It’s fair to say that he’s not my favourite rider at the moment.”
Millar will now return to his home in Girona in the next few days before evaluating his goals for the season. “Because I need total rest for four weeks as my shoulder heals, the Criterium International is out of the window, but if I have the perfect, textbook recovery for the next two months I should still be in line for the Dauphine and Tour de France. May and June are all up in the air though.”