Millar keeping coy about form, season goals
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Millar keeping coy about form, season goals

by Conal Andrews at 12:38 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Along with the rest of the Garmin Transition riders, David Millar is currently at the team training camp in eastern Spain. He has outlined his first races, but isn’t saying much about either how his current form is or what his early goals are.

“It’s hard to tell at this point,” he said in a team release, when asked what his condition is like. “At the first races sometimes you feel good, but then suffer like a b**d. Sometimes you feel terrible and then yay, you are flying! I’m not going to announce where I am right now as even I don’t know.

“Like last year, I’ll be starting out in Algarve [the Volta ao Algarve]. After that, up to Het Volk [Het Nieuwsblad]…a new addition to the calendar, along with many of the northern Classics. It’s exciting – I feel a bit like a neo pro again, doing those.”

Asked as to his early season targets, he declined to name specific races or particular goals in them. “Honestly, [the aim is] to be going well from Algarve on, with no particular peak in mind. I’d like to be pretty good in all; some for myself, others for the team.”

Millar clocked up some good showings in 2009, with the highlight probably being his time trial win on the penultimate day of the Vuelta a España. He carefully metered out his efforts in the days beforehand, making sure that he was as fresh as possible for the 27.8 kilometre race against the clock.

He beat Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) by five seconds, and Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) by nine. It was the third stage win for the Garmin team in the race, with Tyler Farrar and Ryder Hesjedal also producing the goods.

Two months before that, he had shown impressive form in the Tour de France. He, Bradley Wiggins and Christian Vande Velde were the driving force in a depleted Garmin formation in the team time trial. Their efforts saw them finish second, just 18” behind a full-strength Astana team. It was a defiant, hugely courageous ride.

That strength was on display again two days later when Millar went close to winning stage six of the Tour de France in Barcelona. He struck out from a breakaway group with 29 kilometres to go, fended off the chasing efforts of the peloton behind, and was only caught on the final drag up to the finish line. Afterwards, he would say that the experience of riding alone on those historic streets, amid a chorus of cheers, more than made up for missing out on the win.

Memories like that help to fuel his motivation at this time of year. He and the rest of the team recently began a training camp in Calpe and he said that it is going well.

“I used to train here a lot in the old days with Cofidis,” he stated. “Only now, we’re in a much nicer hotel with a much better team. Needless to say, it’s much more enjoyable.

“The training has been surprisingly hard. We jumped right in feet first. It’s only day four and I’m quite tired already. Hopefully I’ll recover after the easy day and be ready to hit it hard tomorrow.”

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