"Sick" David Millar unhappy at being cut from Garmin-Sharp's Tour de France line-up

Poor form at nationals costs Scot chance to ride final Tour on health grounds, Movistar's Alex Dowsett also out

by Simon_MacMichael   June 30, 2014  

David Millar MSR 2012 © Simon MacMichael

David Millar has taken to Twitter to express his sadness and frustration at being left out of Garmin-Sharp’s team for the Tour de France despite the rider, who is in his swansong season, being told last week that he would be taking part in the race for the 13th and final time. Meanwhile, Alex Dowsett of Movistar is also out of the race as he struggles with his fitness.

Millar did not finish yesterday’s national championship road race and on Thursday had also failed to complete the time trial, and in the early hours of this morning the 37-year-old tweeted:

Today, Millar - a four-time stage winner and former wearer of the yellow jersey - broke the news to fans that he wouldn’t be in the race in a tweet that mentioned some of the other British riders who will be missing.

Confirming the team today which will be led by Critérium du Dauphiné winner Andrew Talansky, Garmin-Sharp sports director Charly Wegelius said: “Had David Millar been healthy, he would have been a phenomenal team member. We would have loved to have him.

“Unfortunately, as seen over the weekend, David is sick, so we were forced to make a difficult and sad decision. That said, I am confident that we have put together an excellent group of riders that will be best equipped to ride a great race and support Andrew.

“It’s going to be an exciting Tour and as always, we will look to animate the race and bring excitement home to our fans.”

Millar was back on Twitter this evening:

Meanwhile, Dowsett had been due to ride the Tour, and Stage 3 passes through his native Essex, but has been struggling with breathing problems leading Movistar’s management to reluctantly leave him out of the team announced today.

Despite the emergence of Great Britain as a major power in world cycling since the Tour’s last visit to these shores in 2007, it looks as though the race will get under way on Saturday with just three British riders participating – defending champion Chris Froome and Sky team mate Geraint Thomas, plus Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s Mark Cavendish.

As William Fotheringham points out in the Guardian, that’s two fewer than the five who took to the start in London 2007, and in a year when the race returns to England, it seems certain that not a single rider born in the country  will participate.

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Him Up North wrote:
mattsccm wrote:
Yes its disappointing but as mere onlookers we know nothing and have no right to comment with our minimal expertise.

But the entire interweb is built on comments from people who know nothing and have minimal expertise! Wink

Here's Vaughters' response

Twat.

Yes, I've really been looking forward to standing on a Yorkshire roadside so that I can cheer on Ramunas Navardauskas...

posted by MartinH [18 posts]
1st July 2014 - 9:56

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As Mr Vaughters is always so keen for cycling fans to let the sponsors know directly that they buy their products because of the sponsorship, I suggest a Scotland wide boycott of Garmin and Sharp whilst letting them know on Twitter! Sook ma plooms!

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posted by andybnk [92 posts]
1st July 2014 - 9:58

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Sad for Millar, sad for British cycling fans. But - wow - how unprofessional he's been in the past few days.

posted by andyp [860 posts]
1st July 2014 - 10:07

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He's been very poor this year. I've seen a lot of press about hs custom shoes but nothing about his riding. He's way, way down in the WT rankings.

Perhaps he should have called it a day last year instead.

posted by Huw Watkins [54 posts]
1st July 2014 - 10:52

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dp24 wrote:
Jonny_Trousers wrote:
Very sad for Millar, and he's going to be missed, but I've got to say, if I was his team director I wouldn't be over the moon about how readily he voices his dissatisfaction through social media.

He's retiring, and has just been dropped from his final chance at riding the Tour. I doubt he gives much of a f*ck what his DS thinks at the moment.

True!

posted by Jonny_Trousers [82 posts]
1st July 2014 - 10:56

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Balls, he was in my fantasy team!

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posted by Noelieboy [89 posts]
1st July 2014 - 11:03

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Jonny_Trousers wrote:
dp24 wrote:
Jonny_Trousers wrote:
Very sad for Millar, and he's going to be missed, but I've got to say, if I was his team director I wouldn't be over the moon about how readily he voices his dissatisfaction through social media.

He's retiring, and has just been dropped from his final chance at riding the Tour. I doubt he gives much of a f*ck what his DS thinks at the moment.

True!

Well David was making noises about a staff role with Garmin after he finished riding, but that may now be up in smoke as well.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3082 posts]
1st July 2014 - 11:34

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No sympathy for Millar,its a hard headed business and they cant run it on sentiment for an unfit 37 year old who wants a procession and a final wave off
No pity for him or Wiggins
Charly Wegelius like Dave Brailsford made intelligent unemotional decisions,it would a disaster for both teams if either rider were included

posted by Rich71 [18 posts]
1st July 2014 - 11:57

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This thread demonstrates all that is great and ghastly with internet forums... love it.

I think the whole point of forums is to vent spleens, to voice uneducated opinions, so to suggest this should not happen, kind of negates the whole point of a forum!

Back on topic.... I would suggest that if Millar looks very hard in the mirror from an objective viewpoint, he will see he has been the master of his own destiny here.

Its not that Vaughters dropped him after one poor performance at the nationals, its because Millar put himself in a position where a poor ride at the nationals would be enough to for Vaughters to feel he has to drop him from the team. He has been far too anonymous all season.

This happened to me in 2010. My whole season had been built around the Tour Series, more specifically to the home round of the tour series in Exeter. I was only interested in being ready for those 5 weeks and really that one race.

Accordingly as I built my form for that event, my results up to to May that year left much reason for questioning my form. Going into my first Tour Series round (two days before my home round) I did a terrible ride, crashed three times and accordingly came no where.

The next afternoon, I was informed that I was dropped for my home round. I was gutted, furious, even more so when I had to then cancel the interview appointments I had with local media.

Looking back at it though, I put myself into a position where I could be dropped from one bad ride, and as I see it, this is the same thing here.

I am sure if included, Millar would do a sterling job; he has still produced great results in the tour when in poor form, injured and ill... but the point is, given the choice, why would a manager take that risk, when there is someone clearly in sterling form, ready and waiting to go?

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [255 posts]
1st July 2014 - 12:01

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Rich71 wrote:
No sympathy for Millar,its a hard headed business and they cant run it on sentiment for an unfit 37 year old who wants a procession and a final wave off
No pity for him or Wiggins

Millar and Wiggins are two completely different situations, if Wiggins had been able to move teams before the tour I'd wager that there are a good number of teams who would have snapped Sky's arms off.

No rider could ever take on the tour as a "procession", and you can guarantee it that Millar would still see himself doing a job and putting himself on the line for the team, no holds barred. To suggest otherwise is somewhat naive.

posted by farrell [1394 posts]
1st July 2014 - 12:01

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Fucking Mint!

Yatesy is in for OricaGreenEdge.

Proper local lad, Great news.

posted by farrell [1394 posts]
1st July 2014 - 12:10

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Gkam84 wrote:
This would have been Millars 9th TdF in a row. Some notable teams he's worked as part of in that time under the Vaugters-Millar partnership.

2008 - Vande Velde 5th
2009 - Wiggins 3rd (Team 2nd overall)
2010 - Hesjedal 6th
2011 - Danielson 8th (Team 1st overall)
2012 - Won Stage 12
2013 - Talansky 10th and 2nd in Young riders

No-one can say he wasn't a team player in all the time, he always worked for whoever was the leader at the time. Vaugters have turned around and shat all over him, just because Navardauskas and Langeveld have jersey's to show off....away tae fuck

THIS. Plus: massive push on the CE in 2013. He would have been all over it this year for the final push, loads of TV time for the jersey.

Cav pulled out of nationals too. It's called erring on the side of caution.

No room for sentimentality in cycling? Such rubbish. Road cycling is nothing if not sentimental, dear god.

On a happier note for the Brits: Ned Boulting is saying Simon Yates has been selected for the OGE team, which is a lovely surprise.

posted by spin sugar [33 posts]
1st July 2014 - 12:19

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spin sugar wrote:
No room for sentimentality in cycling? Such rubbish. Road cycling is nothing if not sentimental, dear god.

It may be for you as a fan, and that's fine. However, these people's jobs rely on results, not grainy black & white images selling nostalgia to Mamils.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1941 posts]
1st July 2014 - 13:08

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No, their jobs don't rely on results, they rely on sponsorship: prize money income is a small fraction of sponsorship income.

And sponsorship is not solely served by having the best podium placings, otherwise no French business would sponsor a team, and T-Mobile would have kept up with their sponsorship even when all the doping stuff was going on ("hey, they're still getting the results, right?").

It's important, but it's not the sole criterion.

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posted by Doctor Fegg [133 posts]
1st July 2014 - 14:04

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What about the forgotten man of British cycling, Steve Cummings? He hasn't been selected either. Is he injured?

Surprised at Simon Yates' inclusion. I assumed he was too young. And Orica select Simon why not Adam too?

posted by NeilG83 [233 posts]
1st July 2014 - 14:29

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I spent about half an hour trying to win a shite Fleury Michon t-shirt at a festival last year, purely because I'd seen their name on Europcars mitts.

I later learnt they do food, so I bought some of their ham and chicken for sandwiches.

I definitely wont be putting any Garmins on my Lunch after this debacle.

posted by farrell [1394 posts]
1st July 2014 - 14:33

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Just read on twitter that Millar will be joining ITV for the Tour. He was very informative when he was on the BBC in the past (I can't remember if it was Ride London or World Champs).

Another reason to watch ITV over Eurosport. Boulting, Rendell, Boardman, Imlach and now Millar: probably the best presenting team in sport. Just a shame about having to put up with Phil & Paul for the commentary.

posted by NeilG83 [233 posts]
1st July 2014 - 15:05

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NeilG83 wrote:
Just read on twitter that Millar will be joining ITV for the Tour. He was very informative when he was on the BBC in the past (I can't remember if it was Ride London or World Champs).

Another reason to watch ITV over Eurosport. Boulting, Rendell, Boardman, Imlach and now Millar: probably the best presenting team in sport. Just a shame about having to put up with Phil & Paul for the commentary.

Indeed. With a team like that, you have to wonder why Phil and Paul still get the commentary roles?

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3082 posts]
1st July 2014 - 15:35

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Jimmy Ray Will wrote:
This thread demonstrates all that is great and ghastly with internet forums... love it.

I think the whole point of forums is to vent spleens, to voice uneducated opinions, so to suggest this should not happen, kind of negates the whole point of a forum!

Back on topic.... I would suggest that if Millar looks very hard in the mirror from an objective viewpoint, he will see he has been the master of his own destiny here.

This happened to me in 2010. My whole season had been built around the Tour Series, more specifically to the home round of the tour series in Exeter. I was only interested in being ready for those 5 weeks and really that one race.

Accordingly as I built my form for that event, my results up to to May that year left much reason for questioning my form. Going into my first Tour Series round (two days before my home round) I did a terrible ride, crashed three times and accordingly came no where.

The next afternoon, I was informed that I was dropped for my home round. I was gutted, furious, even more so when I had to then cancel the interview appointments I had with local media.

Looking back at it though, I put myself into a position where I could be dropped from one bad ride, and as I see it, this is the same thing here.

I am sure if included, Millar would do a sterling job; he has still produced great results in the tour when in poor form, injured and ill... but the point is, given the choice, why would a manager take that risk, when there is someone clearly in sterling form, ready and waiting to go?

See, you started so well, "uneducated opinions" etc, then managed to ruin it with a reasoned, educated opinion, and even had the cheek to back it up with directly relevant experience! God damn it.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3082 posts]
1st July 2014 - 15:43

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notfastenough wrote:
NeilG83 wrote:
Just read on twitter that Millar will be joining ITV for the Tour. He was very informative when he was on the BBC in the past (I can't remember if it was Ride London or World Champs).

Another reason to watch ITV over Eurosport. Boulting, Rendell, Boardman, Imlach and now Millar: probably the best presenting team in sport. Just a shame about having to put up with Phil & Paul for the commentary.

Indeed. With a team like that, you have to wonder why Phil and Paul still get the commentary roles?

I think Phil & Paul work for an American network and then ITV and other English speaking networks use their feed. Probably cheaper for ITV than paying the ASO for their own commentary position.

posted by NeilG83 [233 posts]
1st July 2014 - 16:17

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Quote:
David Millar ‏@millarmind 6 min

Anyway, whatever, i'll come and pundit the hell out of the TdF in the UK and then train the shit out of July. Commies + Vuelta here I come.


All seems to have sorted itself out now, shame it was done publicly.

KalaBlinds 'cos we all need our beauty sleep.

posted by don simon [142 posts]
1st July 2014 - 18:02

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That one, along with a couple of others that would have got most people fired from their jobs were removed shortly after posting when he had a sudden outbreak of common sense. (Or someone from the team phoned up and told him to delete them).

posted by kevinmorice [15 posts]
1st July 2014 - 21:00

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With all the outpouring of grief over the supposed mistreatment of Millar, please remember he is an ex drug cheat who has admitted to doping again after his suspension and then claims to be subsequently clean. In most other sports doping after an initial ban that warrants a life ban. So he has been lucky to be in any of the the last 9 tours at all.

However, he has also been public about his emotional problems and particularly his depression in the past. So the team (of which he is part owner if I recall correctly?!) should have handled it in a more professional manner and taken into account that it was likely that he would have a strong emotional reaction.

posted by kevinmorice [15 posts]
1st July 2014 - 21:18

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kevinmorice wrote:
That one, along with a couple of others that would have got most people fired from their jobs were removed shortly after posting when he had a sudden outbreak of common sense. (Or someone from the team phoned up and told him to delete them).

I don't know about getting them fired, I think you'd stand a pretty good chance of defending yourself in a tribunal if your boss, who you were publicly waiting for a decision from, was tweeting about his night out in New York instead.

posted by farrell [1394 posts]
1st July 2014 - 22:11

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Doctor Fegg wrote:
No, their jobs don't rely on results, they rely on sponsorship: prize money income is a small fraction of sponsorship income.

And sponsorship is not solely served by having the best podium placings, otherwise no French business would sponsor a team, and T-Mobile would have kept up with their sponsorship even when all the doping stuff was going on ("hey, they're still getting the results, right?").

It's important, but it's not the sole criterion.

Agreed (though I'm not sure about the T-Mobile bit).

I didn't mean prize money, I meant doing well by whatever parameters were set in the first place. That means different things to the various teams. Although he doesn't win very often Voeckler has done more to promote Europcar than any amount of advert airtime. However, let's not pretend that being off the front for a bit during a stage then mincing about and finishing mid-pack is necessarily going to make a DS or sponsor happy.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1941 posts]
1st July 2014 - 23:39

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kevinmorice wrote:
With all the outpouring of grief over the supposed mistreatment of Millar, please remember he is an ex drug cheat who has admitted to doping again after his suspension and then claims to be subsequently clean. In most other sports doping after an initial ban that warrants a life ban. So he has been lucky to be in any of the the last 9 tours at all.

Oooh, this is news to me,,, when and where did he dope post suspension, and where can I read more about this?

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [255 posts]
2nd July 2014 - 9:37

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Jimmy Ray Will wrote:
kevinmorice wrote:
With all the outpouring of grief over the supposed mistreatment of Millar, please remember he is an ex drug cheat who has admitted to doping again after his suspension and then claims to be subsequently clean. In most other sports doping after an initial ban that warrants a life ban. So he has been lucky to be in any of the the last 9 tours at all.

Oooh, this is news to me,,, when and where did he dope post suspension, and where can I read more about this?

Yeah, I'd like to see more info re this as well - preferably with links to a solid credible source, not a throwaway post by...someone....on a forum.

posted by Sam1 [215 posts]
2nd July 2014 - 9:45

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Charly Wegelius is knob.... road worlds madrid.........

posted by leedgreen [28 posts]
2nd July 2014 - 12:43

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leedgreen wrote:
Charly Wegelius is knob.... road worlds madrid.........

Pah... we'd have all done the same thing in their shoes.

They'd have earnt more in that day than they had for half the year.

Since then BC have rather more generous team bonuses in place for worlds success than they did back then.

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [255 posts]
3rd July 2014 - 12:02

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leedgreen wrote:
Charly Wegelius is knob.... road worlds madrid.........

Oh dear, more Sun-reader style 'expert' commentary Sad

Meanwhile the contributors to the excellent Cycling Podcast reflect on Millar's exclusion in a blog that accompanies it:

http://thecyclingpodcast.com/Millar

The episode recorded with Millar, when he was expecting to ride the Tour, is embedded there and is well worth a listen. In the latest entry they give their Tour predictions; interestingly, two of the three predict Contador for GC!

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1941 posts]
3rd July 2014 - 14:06

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