David Millar says he’ll leave Paris-Roubaix to the experts.
The Garmin-Transitions captain got his first real taste of the Hell of the North, but made a mid-course revelation that he’s not cut out for the punishing march across the cobblestones.
“I don’t know if I will do Roubaix again, at least not next year. I think Flanders and Amstel Gold are better for me. That’s more my style of races,” Millar told VeloNews. “For Fabian (Cancellara) and these guys that are more experienced, even they don’t enjoy this race. Well, maybe Fabian enjoyed it today, but nobody else did.”
Millar started as one of Garmin-Transitions’ four protected riders, but the team was hammered by bad luck, with six of eight starters crashing and only two finishing. Millar “crashed but didn’t crash” and abandoned at the second feed zone.
“My expectation was it that it would be incredibly hard, and it was. I was feeling far from my best. I admit I was not at my best on the cobbles. It doesn’t come naturally to me,” he said. “I wasn’t in complete control of the situation.”
His hard-fought overall victory the Three Days of De Panne and a heavy spring racing schedule left him drained when he lined up in Compiègne for what was his second career Roubaix start.
“I’ve been tired the whole past week, since Flanders and De Panne. I was hoping to have good legs today. I was well-placed after the Arenberg, the race that was left just overtook me at that point,” he said. “When the TV cameras were on me, I shook my head as if to say, ‘this race is not for me!’”
Millar did admit that he enjoys racing in other northern classics and is particularly enthralled with Flanders, but vows to return to Roubaix some day.
“I spoke with guys who’ve done (Roubaix), and the common theme there was that they do not enjoy it. But they love it. They call it the Hell of the North for a lot of reasons,” he said. “I would like to come back and finish the race, but not next year.”
After a break, Millar will reload for a very busy racing schedule, with likely starts at the Giro d’Italia, Dauphiné Libéré, Tour de France and Vuelta a España.