Despite landing second overall in the Tour of California, David Millar's early season list of targets had actually pinpointed Paris-Nice as his first big objective of the year. The Scottish rider is aiming for a top three place in the French event and, as he tells Cyclingnews' Shane Stokes, he hopes it will set things up for a very strong season for both him and his new team.
This is an important year for David Millar. Since the start of the season he's officially one of the leaders of the Slipstream Chipotle/H3O team, a squad aiming to become a major player in world cycling while also working to a strict anti-doping ethos. Millar's personal history is well known to all, and since his return from a doping ban he has been one of the most outspoken about the need to change the sport and remove the shadier cultures within.
Apart from riding for the Pro Continental outfit, Millar is now a part owner of the team and - in addition to that - became a member of the World Anti-Doping Agency's Athlete Committee at the end of 2007. Those things considered, it's clear that he's representing the push for a new sport; the Scot is hoping a strong season will show what is possible.
Millar began the Paris-Nice on Sunday with two clear objectives in mind. "The goal is to be on the podium on GC and win the prologue," he said in the lead up to the race. While the second of those targets didn't work out, with the rider finishing 12th in the time trial in Amilly, he was relatively positive about his ride afterwards.
"There are few things worse than having a chrono performance compromised because of the weather," he said on the Slipstream team website, referring to the day's rain. "Considering I was one of the last to go before it started drying out more, I'm satisfied with my result. Trent [Lowe] and Danny [Pate] did great rides and Trent put considerable time on the other climbers."
Read the full interview.