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Ooooops, No Millar in the Tour

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Almost all of the TdF rosters have now been announced, only Astana and Orica remain. The shock-news of the day was the exclusion of David Millar from what was supposed to be his farewell-Tour. Health problems say the team, what Millar said was probably not fit for print as he lost his spot in the last few days without the team communicating with him properly.

Doug Pensinger

Without Millar the Garmin squad is high on talent, low on experience. The nine are:

Andrew Talansky (25 years old)
Sebastian Langeveld (29)
Tom Jelte Slagter (24)
Jack Bauer (29)
Johan Vansummeren (33)
Alex Howes (26)
Ben King (25)
Janier Acevedo (28)
Ramunas Navardauskas (26)

Millar apparently has had some health issues and the team made him ride the national championships to show that he was ok and they weren't impressed with the outcome. Millar on his side didn't want to ride and insists that he would have been OK in time for the Tour start in Yorkshire. This leaves even fewer British riders at the British Grand Départ. Earlier today Movistar announced that Alex Dowsett won't be riding either, he too is out with health issues according to his team. The Movistar nine instead look like this:

Alejandro Valverde
Imanol Erviti
Ruben Plaza
John Gadret
Ion Izagirre
Giovanni Visconti
JJ Rojas
Jesus Herrada
Benat Intxausti

A team with a lot more climbing firepower than the Garmin team. The two squads will otherwise probably find themselves with a similar task. Both are set to support a second tier podium-candidate but also have some freelancers to give them a shot at taking stagewins. Garmin are obviously better set to guide their man past the cobbles on stage 5 but otherwise the two look pretty evenly matched on the flats. Another conspicuous absentee

So in the end the Tour looks to be a profile poorer with the loss of Millar and we lose the storyline of the sentimental farewell Tour for the "love him or hate him"-Brit. It also looks like a sour end to the Garmin-Millar relationship as the final decision obviously wasn't handled as well as could be hoped. It's not the first time that Slipstream management has used non-communication with its riders on sensitive issues but it looks particularly bad in this case when it involves Millar who has held a central insider role within the team throughout its history as an international team.