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Rested Millar finds key to Dauphiné success

By:
Jean-François Quénet
Published:
June 13, 2009, 6:55 BST,
Updated:
June 13, 2009, 12:33 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, June 13, 2009
David Millar on his way to third in the Dauphiné's ITT on Wednesday

David Millar on his way to third in the Dauphiné's ITT on Wednesday

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New approach delivers a "surprise" for Scot

Thanks to some strong and consistent riding at the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré, David Millar is sitting in fifth place in the overall. The attack he launched in the final five kilometers of stage two suggested he was in form. Though that attack lasted just until the sprinters caught him with 35 meters to go, Millar continued riding well with a third place in the lengthy individual time trial of Valence. Then after an impressive 11th place finish on Mont Ventoux on Thursday, Millar rode up the Izoard on Friday during stage six with the GC leaders Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) and Alberto Contador (Astana).

"It's a bit of a surprise. I hoped to go well here at the Dauphiné, but I've hoped so many times in the recent past without success," the Scot said to Cyclingnews in Briançon before explaining his good form. "I trained too much. This time, between my time at the Giro d'Italia and the start of the Dauphiné, I've done almost nothing. I think this is the best for me: to just rest between the races and race hard."

Feeling fresh has changed Millar's impressions on the bike. "When you are going well, climbing goes very quickly," he said, referring to the Izoard climb during stage six on Friday when he never appeared in any difficulty as he kept pace with the favourites.

"Contador, Evans and Valverde are at the same level. [Robert] Gesink and [Vincenzo] Nibali are also very strong. After them, I'm kind of the best."

What he has learned from his past is not to be too excited too soon about his apparent return to the top of the world of cycling. "I'm taking every day as it comes," said Millar, who declined to name his next objective.

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