To finish seventh in stage one of the Giro d’Italia is below what David Millar expected in Amsterdam but he was far from devastated having given his all on the 8.4km course.
When he crossed the line, he had the third best time behind Brent Bookwalter and Greg Henderson but by the time he managed to catch his breath and talk to reporters, Bradley Wiggins had stormed home with the fastest time. There were six seconds at the end between the two British time trial stars.
“I went really well,” the Scot said. “But I’m a bit disappointed because I thought I could make the podium.” He had the tenth best intermediate time but he ruled out that he finished stronger. “The other people slowed down”, he said. “I was just consistent.”
“I was cornering really well”, he said. “I went as good as I could. I had the same legs as at the Three Days of De Panne. Maybe these guys were too good, that’s it.”
Millar won the time trials of the Criterium International and the Three Days of De Panne. He hasn’t taken part in any competition since Paris-Roubaix but had two weeks of solid training in Gerona before heading to the Netherlands.
Garmin-Transitions directeur sportif Matt White said: “I’m very happy with David’s ride. He was very consistent on the prologue and he’s very close to the best times.”
The US team still has a chance of taking the lead in the race and will aim to do so with sprinter Tyler Farrar. “But I would have liked Tyler (Farrar) to finish ten seconds closer”, White said. “To take the jersey before the team time trial, he now has to win a stage in Holland.” Farrar is 26 seconds behind Wiggins while other top sprinters like Greg Henderson and Andre Greipel have lost only 5 and 18 seconds respectively.
With riders like Christian Vande Velde, and track specialists Jack Bobridge and Cameron Meyer expected to improve their condition in the next two days, Garmin-Transitions is tipped as the hot favourite for the first stage in Italy - a 33km team time trial from Savigliano to Cuneo on May 12. Millar and Farrar are likely to still be in contention for the pink jersey by the time the Giro d’Italia transfers everyone from the Netherlands to Italy.