Millar expects to be part of Great Britain’s Olympic selection
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Millar expects to be part of Great Britain’s Olympic selection

by VeloNation Press at 7:05 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping, Olympics
Shortlist due to be announced today

David MillarWith CAS making his selection theoretically possible on April 30th and the rider then stating two weeks ago that he was available for consideration, David Millar has now said that he expects to be confirmed for Britain’s road race team for the London Olympics.

“I'll be there,” the Garmin Barracuda rider said in an interview with “We still await the final decision, in early July, but normally I'll be there for the road race. I'm on the list. For the time trial, I do not know yet.”

The shortlist for the Olympic team is due to be announced today by British Cycling, but Millar’s comments show that he feels his name will be part of the lineup.

Although he is one of the strongest and most experienced British riders, a question mark hung over his participation due to his two year ban for admitted EPO use, served between 2004 and 2006. The British Olympic Association introduced a rule stating that anyone who had served a long suspension would face a lifetime ban from consideration for the Games; WADA appealed this to CAS this year, stating that tougher rules by one country were not allowed under the WADA Code. It stated that the BOA was welcome to petition for a global change to the Code, but couldn’t simply apply its own sanctions.

CAS agreed, ruling on April 30th that the BOA was out of line.

Given the potential negative publicity, Millar had stated on several occasions prior to the decision that he would be unlikely to take part in the Games because he felt that it would lead to criticism plus a return to the controversy he faced in the past.

His stance changed after the CAS decision, with the former Tour de France stage winner saying two weeks ago that he was now willing to take part.

He has spoken further on the matter this week, telling the Mail that he was torn about what to do, but that he ultimately felt he had to put himself forward.

‘It would have been much easier for me simply to not go — then all I would probably have got was a positive reaction from martyring myself,” he told the Daily Mail.

“But the biggest regret I could have is to go on holiday, watch the road race on TV and see what a stupid, selfish decision I had taken. We have an objective and that’s helping Mark to win.”

Cavendish told the same paper that he wanted Millar to be there, playing a similar role to what he did in helping him the world road race championships last autumn.

‘Dave’s one of the most experienced guys in the peloton. He loves bike racing. He knows how to race: tactically, technically and physically,” he said.

‘We don’t have radios in the Olympics and it’s hard to communicate. There are so many variables and that’s why I love it. You have to make sure you know what’s coming and how to read a race and Dave’s the best at that.”

Millar is clear that the British team would have a lot of work to do to help bring Cavendish to the line with the front runners, and to set him up for the win. Nobody doubts his finishing speed, but Cavendish will first have to get over the nine ascents of the tough Box Hill. According to Millar, this is not a foregone conclusion.

“It's very tough, more than what was said, and so much more built for puncheurs [explosive riders – ed.],” he told Velo101. “It will be very hard for Mark Cavendish. It can be done, but it is nothing like the World Championships in Rudersdal [Copenhagen – ed.].”


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