Vaughters rues missed yellow jersey for Millar, Martin sees a silver lining
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Monday, July 1, 2013

Vaughters rues missed yellow jersey for Millar, Martin sees a silver lining

by Shane Stokes at 6:38 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Photo finish reveals how close Scottish rider went to wearing jersey again

David MillarThe Garmin-Sharp team went agonisingly close to taking the second yellow jersey of the Tour de France yesterday, with stage winner Jan Bakelants hitting the line one second clear of the fast-closing chase group. David Millar is the rider who would have been donning the Maillot Jaune had the gap been any smaller, and he revealed today that a gap of less than one wheel separated him from the coveted tunic.

Tweeting a picture of the photo finish, he said ‘this is how close I was to the yellow jersey yesterday. The one second line is just in front of Sagan. Shit.”

As can be seen from the photo, the faint dotted line is where Sagan needed to be to ensure that Bakelants wasn’t given an official gap.

Commenting after the stage, team chief Jonathan Vaughters recognised the team delayed slightly in chasing. However while acknowledging the lost opportunity, he said that Garmin-Sharp would turn its attention to today’s third stage.

“We did a very good job as a team. Of course we would have liked to get David in the yellow but the guys did a great job and we are really proud of their effort,” he said. “Now we look ahead to tomorrow and some more exciting racing.”

Irish rider Dan Martin also commented on the matter and said that while taking yellow would have been a boost for the squad, that it might also have had a drawback in terms of the bigger picture.

“Unfortunately we just missed out on the yellow jersey with David. I tried to get to the front to help him but the other guys were already there,” he told VeloNation. “I did a couple of quick turns through. There were three teams riding for the sprint, trying to bring Bakelants back.

“They apparently looked at the photo finish, and it was literally about a metre off about being less than a second. If it had been less than second gap, it would have been David in yellow.”

Still, there would have been a drawback. “I also think it is a blessing in disguise, because if we had the jersey, we would have to waste a lot of energy protecting it. With the team time trial on stage four, I think that is a really big goal for us and we can look forward to that.”

Martin, Vaughters and Millar know that if the latter can finish prominently today and the team win the TTT tomorrow, that he could end up in yellow anyway. Martin hints that the other riders might try something today anyway.

Asked about today’s hilly parcours plus the second category Col de Marsolino located thirteen kilometres from the line, he recognised the possibility for aggressive racing.

“I don’t think it is up to me to do anything, but I will see if the opportunity arises,” he said. “I am going into it with an open mind. It is definitely a stage that suits me with a steep climb so close to the finish, and it could be a small group sprint at the end. We don’t know.”

The team also has several other riders who could ride well in that finale, and with Millar sprinting well, he too will look for chances.

“I think it is going to be a really long, hard day with no flat and technical roads. I think the objective is to stay safe and not lose any time, then we can look at trying to win the stage,” said Martin.


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