Back in the UK, to win the British Cycling time trial championships, David Millar took time out of his busy schedule to speak to VeloVeritas, and discuss his ambitions and his move to a new team.
Congratulations on the TT championship win, that’s both British champs jerseys in the wardrobe…
“I’ve never won either race before and after the road race, I realised that I could fit the time trial in to my schedule. I’m usually riding the Vuelta at this time of year, but the team wanted me to do the Eneco and Poland Tours instead. It was just something I fancied doing and it’s turned out well.”
Is it true you won both races so you won’t have to wear that Slipstream Argyle next year?
“That’s just a daft story that’s doing the rounds!”
How have Saunier been about you leaving?
“They’ve been really good. Saunier is Mauro Gianetti and Matxin’s (DS) team, there’s no scope for me to get involved in how the team operates.
“At Slipstream, one of the things that attracts me is that Jonathan Vaughters has said that I will be involved in how the team is organised, that’s important to me and the guys at Saunier understand that.”
Your new squad, Slipstream: there’s no danger of it being another Mercury? Big plans, but no money?
“None. I know the people supporting the venture and they are all solid. Doug Ellis, the guy behind it all has a whiter than white track-record, financially and ethically.
“He has a certain vision for the team and all the finance is in-place to realise that. He’s a very ethical man and we’ll be taking a strong anti-doping stance, that’s another attraction about this set-up.”
What about not being a ProTour team?
“We’re comfortable we’ll get wild-card entries for most of the programme we want to race. The plan is to grow the team in an organic fashion and look to go ProTour in 2009.”
Will you be undisputed team leader?
“It’s not going to be like that, we want to create a group of riders who we get the best out of. I’ll be leader, but we want to get results too, from the untapped talent that’s in the team.”
Will you still stay in Girona?
“That’s at the core of our vision for the team. Girona will be our central base in Europe, we want to make a cultural change in the team, from US-based, to European-based.”
Will Slipstream still be on Felt bicycles, next year?
“That’s the one thing that’s decided, equipment-wise. Decisions have still to be reached about wheels and components, but the frames will be Felt. Thay are a small company but very much performance-driven and that fits-in perfectly with our ethic.”
Are you happy with your first full season back?
“It’s been a tumultuous year for me, I was going well early-on and then I had a couple of bad crashes. It’s only in the last few weeks I’ve started to feel like I’m going well again. Overall, it hasn’t been a fun year for me.”
What about the Worlds?
“My final preparation will be the Tour of Poland then I’ll be doing time trial specific work with Matt Parker of British Cycling. The goals are to be on the podium in the time trial and do as good a ride as I can in the road race. I haven’t ridden the circuit, but I believe it’s hard.”
Not a pleasant question, but your take on the Mayo situation?
“Gutted. A nice quiet guy – it just goes to show that there’s no “standard personality profile” for guys that dope.”
Final questions, are you happy with life and are you looking-forward to next season?
“Yes, I’m enjoying life now and I can’t wait for 2008!”
VeloVeritas would like to thank David for his time, and wish him all the best for the Worlds and for 2008.