Speaking to Cyclingnews ahead of the inaugural team time trial of the Giro d’Italia, David Millar acknowledged that Garmin-Cervélo doesn’t have "a pure time trial team".
"We’ve got half power but technically we’re good", Millar stated.
The Brit said he was "excited in a strange way" by this extremely hilly Giro d’Italia. He also suspects that "not many riders will be racing till the end". With 207 starters and a UCI derogation to host 23 teams instead of the maximum of 22, the pink race can afford to lose the sprinters after stage 12 and the riders fed up by the uphill finishes.
"It’s so hard that it might neutralise the race", Millar warned.
As an anti-doping campaigner, the Scotsman is probably more excited by the new ‘no needle policy’ than by the race itself.
"We’re in advance doing that", he said of the Garmin-Cervélo team he has tremendously helped going to the clean way of cycling three years ago already.
When he won the prologue of the 2007 Paris-Nice in Issy-les-Moulineaux with Saunier Duval after coming back from suspension, he spread the message: "The young riders have to know that they don’t need injections or recovery drips."
"We’ve proved that needles aren’t necessary to perform", he explained.
"There’s no medical proof that intravenous fasten the recovery more than drinks. There’s an old culture coming from old riders to convince the young cyclists that needles are needed. There are no facts to prove that but that’s what they think. It’s now time to change this culture. The UCI doesn’t always take good decisions but this is a good one. We have to remember that it’ll benefit the riders. This is a big step."
Millar is confident that police forces will help the sport authorities to make this new rule respected.
"There has been a large presence in Italy last month on the front of doping", he noted. "Unfortunately, we rely on the police to clean up the sport. If anybody from a cycling team gets stopped by the police and found in possession of syringes, the UCI will sanction. We know there will be police searches. The sport authorities do not have the power to force the people to respect the rules as rapidly as the police can."
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