David Millar has always been one of the more perceptive and eloquent members of the peloton. He is a fine example of post-suspension rehabilitation and redemption. He has always been a strong and consistent rider who has never had the same recognition as Wiggins and Cavendish in the last few years. He has had a fantastic Giro. Not only did he wear the Maglia Rosa but he also stormed the final ITT and tore it a new one.
Just before the Giro started Millar quoted in cyclingnews.com that he thought that this year’s edition of the Giro was “…so hard that it might neutralise the race”.
How right he was. This year’s Giro was so hard it became a predictable and dull and completely under the control of Contador . The death of Wouter Weylandt naturally took the shine off the first week but the neutralised Stage 4 was an incredible and moving spectacle.
When Millar finished the final mountain stage to Sestriere, he half jokingly said, “F**k you, Giro.” After his win, he clarified himself. “I think it is too much, I don’t think it makes for good racing. The organisers need to take a step back and a look at what they are doing,” Millar explained.
“It’s not the direction that modern cycling should be going. We as a peloton, it’s our responsibility to do something. It’s one thing to just complain to the press. We actually need to group together and actually try to get one collective voice to speak to the UCI and the race organisers.”
The Giro was stupidly hard. I’ll admit that I was quite excited when the route was announced, all those epic mountain top finishes were things to look forward to. But the race fell flat on its face. It was dull. Less of a competition than a boring grind up mountains.
Changes have to be made to make the Grand Tours more competetive and more compelling spectacles. Mountain top finishes are genuinely fantastic when you have a group of riders duelling all the way to the line. They become less entertaining when you find yourself asking who will Contador gift today’s stage to?
How does organising a race this difficult help with he fight against doping? In this current climate surely the UCI and race organisers should be looking at taking the edge off the Grand Tours? I’m not saying that they should make them easy but they should be making the races more competitive.