David Millar is at the Tour de France but not as a rider. Following the decision of his Garmin-Sharp team not to select him due to illness, the Scot is working with British television channel ITV during the British stages of the race.
He interviewed Simon Gerrans just before the start and then talked to Cyclingnews. He seemed happy to be at the race, but he still angry that he was not able to ride the Tour de France for one last time.
Garmin-Sharp manager Jonathan Vaughters explained before the start of the Tour that the team's strict selection criteria of not including rider who were ill, meant that there could be no place for Millar, despite his experience and love for the Tour de France.
Garmin-Sharp was understandably worried that Millar would struggle to perform and help team leader Andrew Talansky if he was ill and lacking fitness. Millar was replaced by Ramunas Navardauskas, with the Garmin-Sharp's decision perhaps vindicated after the Lithuanian finished third on stage 1 in Leeds.
"I think it's better being here than not being here. I'd obviously rather have a number on my back and be racing but Cest La Vie," Millar told Cyclingnews.
"I think I'm over it. I'm still angry, but I'm trying to move on. I'm going to training camp next week and I'm going to get ready for the end of the season. The Commonwealth Games is my next ace and after that the Vuelta a Espana. That's all for that now. I'm still fit. I've had a few days off the bike, and then I'll be back into it."
Millar admitted that he understood the team's decision. However it may have caused irreparable damage to Millar's relationship to the team and with team manager Jonathan Vaughters. Millar and Vaughters created the team together after Millar returned from his ban for doping, and Vaughters worked to create an environment where riders could race clean.
"I understand their decision. I was sick at the British nationals but they knew that. I asked them to trust me I'll be okay but..." Millar said.
"I spoke to Jonathan and Doug Ellis (the chairman of Slipstream Sports that owns the team) on the Monday and they just said that the selection criteria meant that because I was sick, I couldn't go to the Tour."
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