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Millar expecting tactical final week

David Millar (Garmin Slipstream) was the most combative rider after being in a break until the final kilometers.

David Millar (Garmin Slipstream) was the most combative rider after being in a break until the final kilometers. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

With Bradley Wiggins sitting third overall in the Tour de France overall standings, the Garmin-Slipstream team is hoping to parlay that good result into a podium finish in Paris next Sunday. However, a few things stand in the way of that goal, namely three days of racing over gigantic mountains and the Astana team and race leader, Alberto Contador.

Garmin's David Millar spoke to Cyclingnews about the race's next escapade into the Alps, where the race will surely be won.

"The gauntlet is well and truly down now," Millar told Cyclingnews from his team hotel on the rest day. "Astana are going to have to control the race, which they will. We know their style of riding but they could try a tactic of launching Klöden up the road."

Andreas Klöden, who has finished on the Tour podium twice and who the media has talked of sparingly as a genuine contender, sits in fourth place, 2:17 down on yellow. However with three Astana riders in the top ten, the other being Lance Armstrong, they have cards to play.

"That's where a rider like Christian Vande Velde could come into play for us," Millar added. "He could be covering that sort of thing. It could turn into a very tactical race with people calling bluff, so if some of the overall contenders launch pretty early on Tuesday's and Wednesday's stages could be pretty hard for everyone."

Millar added that despite Vande Velde slipping down the overall and out of contention for a possible podium in Paris, the dynamic would still remain the same within the Garmin team.

"They feed off each other. They'll be the two that will be in the finale group every time it gets hard. Just because Christain lost time on the stage to Verbier it doesn't effect that he'll be there at crunch time with Bradley."

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Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at Cyclingnews.com 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.