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

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.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.