David Millar, who was in the breakaway in stage five of the Giro d'Italia with four other riders, suffered an ill-timed mechanical that cost him all chances of a stage win.
The day had been going well for the Team Slipstream racer. "Before I knew it, I was in a race winning break, and I rapidly switched into race winning mode," said Millar on the team's website www.slipstreamsports.com. "I started to get ultra switched-on and even a little short-tempered, a sure sign I'm in the zone."
Millar suffered a broken chain at the precise moment the eventual Russian stage winner Pavel Brutt (Tinkoff Credit Systems) kicked clear. Disgusted and disappointed at the ill luck, the British racer picked up his bike and threw it over a barrier, eventually going on to finish 119th.
"I was so raging and so focused that all the energy I had for winning the race was taken out on my bike," said Millar. "I'm not that person, I don't see red. But I think it's quite funny I did that. I've yet to see the footage…"
Millar told Italian television after the stage that he was also unhappy with the way the finish worked out. "I was totally motivated to win the stage. All my rage just came out at the moment," he said, referring to his bike toss. "I will try again, not tomorrow, but in a few more days. I hope to win a stage in this Giro."
On a positive note for Millar, he was given the same finishing time as fourth place's Francisco Pérez (Caisse d'Epargne).
Although normally, sitting on Millar's wheel would be a wise choice, it didn't work out that way Wednesday for Columbian Luis Felipe Laverde Jimenez (CSF Group Navigare). The 28 year-old said, "My goal for the stage was [to] defend the green jersey of my team-mate [Emanuele] Sella. I didn't think that the breakaway could make it to the finish. When I understood that we were going to play our chance for win the race, I tried to keep myself on Millar's wheel, because I saw the Brit went very well. Anyway, his bad luck was also mine and the victory got away."
See Cyclingnews' complete coverage of stage five of the Giro d'Italia.