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Millar a jack of all trades for Tour de France

David Millar's (Garmin-Cervélo) career has gone through an Indian summer in the last 12 months and the British rider sees no reason to slow down ahead of the 2011 Tour de France.

The former yellow jersey has enjoyed success this year with a stint in the maglia rosa at the Giro d'Italia, and capped an excellent 2010 with silver in the world time trial and gold in the Commonwealth Games equivalent.

Since the Giro, Millar has been on a promotional tour of his own having launched his own book "Racing Through the Dark".

"I came out the Giro and I had all the book stuff. I got back on my bike and it felt like I'd been off for six months. It's come good in the last ten days though," he told Cyclingnews.

Coming into the Tour, Millar will work on a number of fronts personifying his team's ambitions to be dominant force in a race in which they've yet to win a stage. Along with Thor Hushovd and Tyler Farrar for sprints, the team possesses two outsiders for the podium in Christian Vande Velde and Ryder Hesejdal.

"I'm a jack of all trades. So I'll be working in leadouts, working in the mountains and getting in breaks. I might try and win a stage in the first week, too. I'm confident and I feel good and fresh. We're going for breaks, sprints, the team time trial, GC and team GC."

For many years Millar was seen as the bastion of British hopes in professional racing as his launch in to the higher reaches of the sport coincided with the slowing of Chris Boardman. However, over a decade since Millar won the Tour de France prologue much of the sport's landscape has changed. Millar has served a two year ban for doping and Team Sky, one of the most successful teams this season has leapt to the forefront in a number of areas.

Yet their policy on hiring riders who have not served doping suspensions means Millar can never don their kit.

"Sky has come of age in the last month," Millar said when analysing how far the team has come in such a short space of time.

"They're a proper world class team which is amazing because they're only a year and a half into their existence. They've come here with some of the best talent in the world with Wiggins and Thomas. We can look forward to the British having a really strong Tour. It's going to be interesting to see."

Millar's personal relationship with Wiggins has been played out in the press since Wiggins departed from Garmin at the start of 2010. The pair have gone through verbal spats in the past, but appear to have finally buried the hatchet.

"I didn't forgive him for the way he left and we never spoke about it. It wasn't handled very well. But at the same time I've gone too far with the criticism I've had of him because we've never resolved his departure from my team. I've gone too far though and I think we've mended bridges because of it. We spoke a couple of days ago and I apologised for the way I'd been speaking, which wasn't fair."

Millar told the press yesterday that Brad's move to Sky and the fact he himself can never ride for them has caused him emotional turmoil in the past.

"That's why I was critical of Brad for so long and it was because of own mistakes that I can never be part of that team, but at the same time it does hurt. A lot of them are my friends, my sister works for them, Dave [Brailsford] is a very close friend but because of my mistakes that I live with I'll never be part of it and that's upsetting at times."

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Daniel Benson
Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.