What's Cool In Road Cycling

David Millar: The PEZ-Clusive Interview!

Good on David Millar to talk with PezCycling News shortly before his victorious World TT ride in Hamilton (Cool Fall greets TT Warmup). With his Rainbow Jersey safely home, we scored again when David agreed to give us a look back, a look around and a ‘look-out 2004’ from swingin’ London town…

1. PCN: David, you answered many questions with your great TT ride in Hamilton. However, one question remains unanswered – after your win did you celebrate with Dom, Guinness or Miller?

DM: A bit of each but I was fairly limited as the hotel bar closed early and my mini bar had been stripped clean. Bastards!

The smile says it all on the TT podium in Hamilton.

2. PCN: You carried the Union Jack to a world title – how many times do you have to do that before you get knighted?

DM: Many, many more. Plus a couple of Olympic Golds should do the trick!

3. PCN: In the 1st TT of the 2003 TDF you finished behind Ullrich and Armstrong. You came back to beat them both winning the 2nd TT of the tour. At the press conference in Hamilton you noted your respect for Lance and Jan as TT riders but said that you weren’t afraid of them as competitors. Was your TT victory at the 2003 Tour the first time you felt that way?

DM: The Tour de France was exceptional circumstances. I’m at my best in one day TT’s, hence my self confidence. Lance and Jan are above me on their own terrain i.e. a grand Tour like the Tour de France. I’ve always been very good at TTs so I’ve never really been afraid of anyone, I don’t really work like that.

4. PCN: Your TT bike was a closely guarded secret coming into Hamilton – can you give us a tech n’spec on your winning machine?

DM: The bike is beautiful, amazing to ride. It’s stiff so can handle a lot of power but it is also very responsive and steers perfectly. It is basically all carbon fibre which makes it so light – 8kg to be precise. The components are Campagnolo as well as the rear wheel. The front wheel is a HED tri-spoke carbon fibre wheel. HED also made the tri-bars – carbon fibre custom made with aluminium aero bar extensions.

5. PCN: After your world TT title in Hamilton you quipped “everything before this was just a prologue”. Did you ever consider a stint on ‘Late Nite with David Letterman’?

DM: When I’m an older, more deserving guest I think, although Parkinson would do me just fine.

6. PCN: Seriously, you’ve won prologue and chrono stages in the Grand Tours and captured a silver medal in the Worlds TT in 2001. How big was this World TT title for you?

DM: Big, very big. It was long awaited especially after I lost by a few seconds in Lisbon. That really stung and I’ve been waiting ever since to get the title. I was focusing on this as one of my main objectives this year so it eclipses everything else I’ve done.

7. PCN: Cycling fans still recall the image of a totally frustrated Bjarne Riis throwing his TT bike into the ditch during a previous tour. What went through your mind during the prologue at the 2003 tour?

DM: Mother fucker. I was seriously pissed off, put it that way.

8. PCN: You’ve had various challenges during your career yet you always manage to come back stronger. Jeannie Longo recently said that physical ability is less important than the mental side of cycling. What do you say?

DM: I don’t agree. For me it’s 60% physical 40% mental. You need to have the power there as well as the mental strength to push yourself further for longer.

9. PCN: How do you think the enormity of l’alpe d’Huez stage in the 2004 will colour the race strategy in the Pyrenees?

DM: Very much I think. Lance and Jan will no doubt keep their cards to their chest until that very stage. It’s going to be crucial.

10. PCN: What are your predictions for the TT at l’alpe d’Huez?

DM: I think it has to be Lance but after this year Mayo could be a good bet.

11. PCN: Do you think the Tour will be decided at l’alpe d’Huez?

DM: To be honest I do.

12. PCN: You have said you would like to win the prologue and wear the yellow jersey for the first few stages of the 2004 tour. What are your ambitions for the 2nd TT of the tour?

DM: To survive with honour!

13. PCN: Do you have any predictions for the final podium of le Tour 2004?

DM: Not really. Everyone is talking about Lance and Jan and they will definitely be there in my opinion, as for third place I don’t know. It just depends on everyone’s form at the time.

14. PCN: The Olympics Time Trial is scheduled for August 18th, 24 days after the Tour arrives in Paris. Will this be an advantage or disadvantage for the riders who contest the tour?

DM: I think it will be an advantage. I used the Vuelta to prepare for the World’s this year and it worked perfectly. The Tour will have the same effect. There is enough time after the Tour to ensure that you recuperate whilst maintaining peak condition.

15. PCN: You have worn the white jersey and the yellow jersey in the Tour de France. You have the rainbow jersey as world TT champion. Is there a jersey missing from the David Millar collection?

DM: Erm, the Giro leaders jersey is definitely missing. (well duh! – ed.)

And Now For The Bonus Round!
16. PCN: Which of the following do you prefer?
– Pint of Guinness or Boddingtons?
– DM: Boddies

– Spice Girls or spice racks?
– DM: Girls

– Counting Crows or Cheryl Crowe?
– DM: Counting Crows

– Steak & Kidney pie or apple pie?
– DM: Apple Pie

– Migraine or whole grain?
– DM: Migraine

– Union Jack or blackjack?
– DM: Union

– James Bond or musical group Bond?
– DM: James Bond

– Banana splits or banana seats?
– DM: Banana split

PCN: Hermann Maier, the Herminator, is going to ride the prologue again at the 2004 Tour – does that worry you?
DM: Haha, no not really!

PCN: He said he is going to invite the winner of the prologue to race him down the Hanenkam – does THAT worry you?
DM: Yes, I would definitely lose…

David, thank you so much for taking time from your busy schedule to talk with your fans around the world. On behalf of PCN and all your fans, best wishes for continued success in 2004!

Check out David’s website at www.itsmillartime.com

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