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David Millar - Straight from the Horse's Mouth by Nick Bull
By Janna Trevisanut
Date: 9/23/2002
David Millar - Straight from the Horse's Mouth by Nick Bull

Unipublic, the Tour of Spain organisers, have confirmed that Britain's David Millar is out of the race, after failing to finish Sunday's stage up to the Angliru. Millar crashed twice in the stage. He refused to cross the finish line in protest of the roads that the stage was raced on.

The first crash took place on the descent of the second category climb, the Cordal."It seemed like there was some fine gravel on them which caused the wheels to skid all over the place," David told his official site. Along with David, several other riders crashed, including teammate Guido Trentin. With help from the Italian, Millar was able to make his way up to the peloton before the start of the ascent of the Angliru, where the second crash occurred.

David was taking a sharp bend, when his wheels slid - a result of the slippery roads. This made him move to the inside of the bend, into the path of a BigMat team car, that was in the process of overtaking the young Brit, who was lying ninth place overall coming into the stage. The driver of the car was unable to see Millar. The car hit him, and he skidded under the wheels of the vehicle. His MBK bike landed on top of him, and the car continued in its journey, running of the French bike and David. Luckily, Millar escaped lightly, while his bike was shattered into five pieces.

"Initially I was shitting myself because I thought I must have broken my ankle but I was very lucky and the bike must have cushioned the force of the car. My legs are badly bruised and cut but nothing is broken - well my bike is broken, shattered into five pieces!"

David was quick to announce that he didn't blame the driver of the car, and he knows it was an accident. However, he was not too pleased with the surface of the road, and this is what his protest at the end of the stage was about. It has been reported thay a group of riders had complained prior to the stage about the quality of some of the roads. The Cordal has had a bad reputation when it comes to the road surface, and Millar thought that he needed to show his feelings to the race organisers as he felt that " riders had been put at unneccessary risk by the routing of the stage."

"The climb and descent on the Cordal were unnecessary, it is known for being a dangerous descent and everyone was saying it was bullshit. There was a road that led directly to the base of l'Angliru which the organisers could have used. My protest was just out of general principle."

However, another twist in the tale was added to the story later on in the day, with a source close to race admitting that Millar could be reinstated. That rumour was dashed today, as the race organisers are officially classifying him as a non-finisher for failure to cross the finish line, thus, taking him out of the race.

Although he suffered no broken bones, he is severely bruised, with cut on his sides and legs. When asked how he felt, Millar says, "I feel like I've been run over by a car!"

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