Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Millar vows to continue despite illness

Cofidis team leader David Millar has vowed to continue riding the Tour de France - at least until Bayonne - despite a serious chest cough which has virtually halted his progress in the race. After Tuesday's rest day in Pau, the Tour continues with the 16th stage on Wednesday - a 197.5km ride from Pau to Bayonne over six Pyrénéan climbs, two of which are rated Category 1. Millar had been going well up until stage 13 when he lost over nine minutes on the first Pyrénéan stage from Toulouse to Ax Trois Domaines. However it was on the 14th stage from St Girons to Loudenvielle over six difficult

Don't miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you join Outside+.

By VeloNews Interactive, Copyright AFP2003

Cofidis team leader David Millar has vowed to continue riding the Tour de France – at least until Bayonne – despite a serious chest cough which has virtually halted his progress in the race.

After Tuesday’s rest day in Pau, the Tour continues with the 16th stage on Wednesday – a 197.5km ride from Pau to Bayonne over six Pyrénéan climbs, two of which are rated Category 1.

Millar had been going well up until stage 13 when he lost over nine minutes on the first Pyrénéan stage from Toulouse to Ax Trois Domaines.

However it was on the 14th stage from St Girons to Loudenvielle over six difficult climbs that Millar dropped most time, going from being 18 minutes adrift of Lance Armstrong to 49 minutes behind.

I’ve learned that on the Tour everything can go horribly wrong even when you’re feeling okay… I’m pretty pessimistic

David Millar

It was also in the Pyrénées that Millar’s cough got worse, and his continued participation in the race – which is not being helped by his low standing of 39th, at 1:24:40 – is still hanging in the balance.

“I’m still pretty sick but one thing’s for sure – I’ll be at the start for Wednesday’s stage because it’s imperative that I make it to Bayonne,” Millar said after arriving in a fit of coughing nearly 35 minutes behind stage winner Armstrong on Monday.

Millar lives in nearby Biarritz and for him to leave the race now, despite having spent a few sore days in the saddle and vomiting violently for his efforts on Sunday, would be hard to stomach.

The thought of Tuesday’s rest day has given the 26-year-old Scot some peace of mind – however it remains to be seen if his illness forces him to reconsider.

“The thought of having a day off gives me some relief,” said Millar before admitting he had been through mostly lows on this year’s race on which he lost the prologue by the slimmest of margins after his chain slipped off his chainring at a crucial moment.

That incident alone cost him the yellow jersey and he later slammed his team’s “amateurish approach” as regards the choice of equipment. Though his assertion was disputed by team officials who said the problem lay with Millar’s decision to forego a front derailleur for his ride against the clock.

Millar said that the incident and others are in keeping what he has learned from competing at the world’s biggest bike race.

“I’ve learned that on the Tour everything can go horribly wrong even when you’re feeling okay,” Millar said. “So, given my current condition I’m pretty pessimistic.”
Copyright AFP2003