By Gregor Brown
Briton's David Millar was proud of Team Garmin Chipotle - H30's performance in its first Tour de France, one that included near stage wins and fifth overall with Christian Vande Velde.
"Considering people weren't convinced we'd get a ride, we've shown we deserve it, we're a future great team," Millar said to Cyclingnews on Paris' Champs Élysées.
Jonathan Vaughters' Team Garmin boosted its roaster last year by signing – among others – Millar, Vande Velde and David Zabriskie. It received a huge boost with invites to the two biggest Grand Tours – Giro d'Italia and Tour de France – and immediately repaid organiser's faith with the opening team time trial win in the Giro.
At the Tour it came close to the leader's maillot jaune with Millar and Vande Velde. Vande Velde, with help from Millar and the other seven riders remaining, went on to close the three-week race with his best-ever finish, fifth overall.
"We've got eight guys who've finished. All of us showed at some point in the race. I think that it's been great and we can be very proud of ourselves. Christian's fifth is highlight, no doubt about that," Millar continued. The team lost Magnus Backstedt after he finished outside of the time limit early in the race.
Millar pointed to other successes outside of his own team. He tipped his hat to fellow British rider Mark Cavendish – winner of four stages. "Cavendish is a phenomenon; he's going to be around for ages, winning stuff."
The day ended with a team party. Millar remained in the French capital for some needed rest days. "I'm going on holiday now, here in Paris." Millar's next goal is the World Championships in Varese this September.