Having returned to the sport last year and proved that he can, once more, perform to a similar level as before, David Millar is now rightly regarded as one of a few red-hot favourites for Saturday's Tour de France prologue in London. Cyclingnews' Ben Atkins and Shane Stokes have been in regular contact with him as he builds up to what will be the biggest day of his season.
David Millar has always had something of a love/hate relationship with the Tour de France prologue. Victory in the millennium edition (which, at just over 16 kilometres long, was technically stage 1) was the win that really put him on the map, but the following year he crashed badly on the final bend while pushing too hard. He finished in a respectable fifth place in 2002, but once again, disaster struck in the centennial Tour as his chain jumped off on the Parisian cobbles, robbing him of victory by eight hundredths of a second. Last year's unspectacular 17th place behind Norway's Thor Hushovd marked his return to racing, without the impact he was hoping for.
This year, his results from the second half of last season – including a Vuelta stage win over the to-be World time trial champion Fabian Cancellara – combined with the fact that it is starting in the British capital has put him firmly amongst the favourites.
Millar seems to display the typical mind-set of the British rider, preparing to ride the biggest race in the world on home soil: one of nervous anticipation, while trying to remain focused on the job in hand. An initial: "Yeah, I am excited." is tempered with a more measured: "To be honest I'm not really thinking about it emotionally so much at the moment, trying to think professionally on it, on the whole thing."
When he spoke to Cyclingnews earlier in the year, Millar expressed an initial liking for the course, after having checked it out last year. "It's good for me but, to be honest, when I am at 100% most of them are. This one seems to be as good as any of them, I suppose.
Read the full interview with Millar.