By Jean-François Quénet in Amilly
Bradley Wiggins had believed so much in his ability to win the inaugural time trial of Paris-Nice that he was devastated after losing to Alberto Contador. He wasn't available for comments outside his team bus while David Millar was pretty satisfied with his fifth place. "It feels good and I'm happy. It was a surprisingly physical course but I felt in control the entire way," Millar said.
As everybody, the Scot was "impressed" by Contador's ride. "You don't win three Grand Tours if you don't have something special," Millar noted, but that was to the disappointment of Wiggins and the Garmin-Slipstream team.
"Bradley has not brought reproach to himself," directeur sportif Lionel Marie explained. "He had seen the course before, he was very focused, he gave 100% and the road was equally wet for everybody. He rode over 60 km/h on the straight sections." Early in his time trial, Wiggins complained about the helicopter being too close to him and he directed the pilot to back away. "With a difference of seven seconds, the winner was clearly the strongest today," Marie said.
Garmin-Slipstream will remain focused on general classification as Millar didn't hide his ambitions. "I'm up for GC," he said. "I don't know much about the Montagne de Lure on Friday. I heard it's not so bad, but at 1600 meters high it can't be easy. I hope for a top-five finish in Nice but I'll try to be on the podium. I feel my climbing is very good at the moment. I've said that before and it didn't work out sometimes, but I'm relaxed now. I've had a good start of the year."
According to Millar, there are only two options for Contador to lose Paris-Nice: "crosswind or crash".