David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) broke the course record in winning the Chrono des Nations on Sunday and revealed afterwards that one of the secrets of his success was riding without a rear brake.
“When you think that your brakes are rubbing against the wheel, it obsesses you and you no longer feel free to perform,” Millar explained to L’Équipe after his victory at Les Herbiers.
Millar acknowledged that he has mined a particularly rich seam of time trialling form this October, something he attributes to riding four long time trials in the past four weeks - at the Vuelta a España, world championships, Commonwealth Games and the Chrono des Nations.
“For the past month, I’ve ridden a 45km time trial a week,” Millar said. “It’s been ideal preparation. Physically, your body gets used to the time trial position.”
After finishing 10th in the final Vuelta time trial in Peñafiel, Millar improved to second place behind Fabian Cancellara in Geelong, before taking victory in Delhi last week and in France on Sunday.
“I’ve never felt as good in time trials as I do now,” he said. “From experience, I’m no longer stressed and I know my schedule from sunrise until the moment I start. I’m also no longer afraid of tiring early, I go hard from the first half hour.”
Sunday’s victory at the Chrono des Nations brought the curtain down on Millar’s season and he showcased his talent on a route seemingly tailor-made for a rider of his panache: “It was an ideal course for me, with constant changes in pace.”