David Millar (Scotland) says that he isn’t disappointed with his performance after finishing eighth in the Commonwealth Games time trial. Millar went on to say that he is a different man to the one that won gold in Delhi four years previously.
"I had pretty low expectations and I filled those, so that’s good," he laughed wryly as he spoke to the media after he’d finished. "I was super realistic about today. I know where my forte lies and it’s not so much in time trialling in my old age so the road race on Sunday it should be my thing."
As the defending champion, Millar was the last rider off the start ramp as the rain fell again on Glasgow. Alex Dowsett was his minute man but he wouldn’t be catching sight of the rampaging Englishman, who was on his way to victory. Millar went through the first check already 21 seconds down on Dowsett. However, that didn’t dampen the spirits of the home crowd that had come out to cheer him on.
"I’ve never experienced anything like it and I think that it’s going to be more of the same thing on Sunday which will be amazing. There were moments out there today where it was just deep with people and the noise really was like a Tour de France stage. I was very proud and I think that everybody can be."
Millar is now looking to secure Scotland’s first medal on the road during this year’s games, after Katie Archibald also missed out in the women’s time trial. In a field of strong teams, the home nation will be the underdog, with Millar the only representative from the top two tiers of cycling. Although, Millar doesn’t expect it to be a team dominated race.
"I think it’s going to be really aggressive from the gun. It’s not going to be boring race, that’s for sure," he explained. "I think in lap three or four we will start seeing people making decisions. We’re not going to see a procession, a race from the back and a war of attrition. It’s really going to be a race from the front and people going off one by one. I think it’s going to be a hard, good spectator race."
While he still has the remainer of the season to run with his Garmin-Sharp team, the Commonwealth Games will be the last time he races in a Scottish jersey. This year has seen him wear his emotions on his sleeve more than ever, but, with this moment in his career fast approaching, Millar is trying to keep it all in check. "My head is still on Sunday. I haven’t had a chance to relax yet and emotions tend to come when you relax. At the moment I still feel pretty focussed for Sunday. I think for me, it’s going to be a different day."