Millar pleased with mountain showing
David Millar says he’s happier with his first day in the mountains than he was with his prologue or
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM
David Millar admitted he was happy with the way his first day in the high mountains since his return to the sport at the Tour de France had gone. “I’m really pleased [with yesterday]. I’m much more encouraged by that than I was by the time trial – knowing that I wasn’t too far from the front group. I just blew myself out, rode myself into the ground, and it felt really good,” said Millar at the start in Tarbes this morning.
“I kept getting overtaken on Marie Blanque but I never felt like sitting up, whereas in the past I would have ridden in the gruppetto. In theory I could do that today but I’d rather go as hard as I can and treat the rest of the race as a big training camp for the second half of the season and races like the Vuelta, Lombardy and Zurich.”
Millar admitted he had underestimated how hard the Tour is after two years away from the pro peloton as the result of a doping ban. “I suppose I’d just forgotten how hard it was and how high the standard is. In two years, I only really rode in a group of pros once – and that was for six days at the training camp this winter. So obviously this is a big shock to the system. You realise that there’s a big difference between putting numbers into a box and riding competitively. It’s like being on a different planet.
“I’m pleased with how relaxed I am. And I’m so patient with myself; in the past I would have been annoyed about my prologue and my time trial and desperate to make amends. But I’m just so relaxed. I know that it will come good eventually, whether it’s in the space of a couple of weeks or a couple of months. Being in such a chilled team also helps. I’ve had a great reception from the other riders, too. I’ve had so many people come up to welcome me back. I think they respect what I did, especially with what’s happening at the moment and with so many other guys still denying.”