Scot rates Grabsch as hot favourite for time trial
David Millar came into the Critérium du Dauphiné looking for the overall victory, but is now looking to reverse a disappointing performance in the prologue where he finished 13th. The Garmin-Transitions rider hopes to perform better in the longer 49-kilometre time trial scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
He revealed he had a technical problem in Evian-les-Bains on the race's opening stage. "On purpose I started the climb on the small ring," he said at the start of stage 2 in Annonay. "But after two kilometres, when I wanted to switch for the big ring, my chain stayed on the small one. In these conditions, I couldn't expect a better result than the one I got."
Millar announced as early as during the Giro d'Italia that he would ride the Dauphiné for the win. He pulled out of the corsa rosa two days earlier than planned because of a bad cough. "I've recovered," he said. "Here I want to better than last year when I finished 9th. I want to make the final top 5 on Sunday. The tactic is simple: I have to a great time trial on Wednesday. The distance of 49 kilometres should create big differences. To do well on GC, I have to get two minutes lead over the climbers."
He's the hot favourite of stage 3 from Monteux to Sorgues, indeed. About the other favourites, he said: "Bert Grabsch won this race last year and he came back to do it again. I've seen a few guys here who are going very well. Jurgen Van den Broeck is one of them, also Janez Brajkovic and of course Alberto Contador who is not only the world's best climber but also one of the two world's best time triallists with Fabian Cancellara. I heard he wants to test himself in that stage!"
"Except from Contador who is above everyone here, the level is well balanced at the Dauphiné," Millar continued. "I can do something. I need a result. I need a win as well." Millar stated that he'll ride the Tour de France in support to Christian Vande Velde who is recovering well after his crash at the Giro d'Italia and trains intensively in the Pyrénées.