David Millar won the final stage time-trial at the Critérium International to make it a super Sunday for Britain.
The Garmin-Transitions rider was fastest on the technical 7.7-kilometre course around Porto-Vecchio, beating Alberto Contador (Astana) and Michael Rogers (HTC-Columbia).
Meanwhile, yesterday’s stage winner Pierrick Fedrigo (BBox Bouygues Telecom) rode a strong time-trial – finishing fifteenth, just ahead of Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) – to clinch overall victory. Behind, Australian Rogers edged out Tiago Machado (RadioShack) for second place.
Millar’s first win of the year comes just hours after Team Sky rider and compatriot Russell Downing crossed the line first in the race’s morning road stage, making it a Sunday to savour for Britons. The result also moved the 33-year-old up to fifth overall.
“I’m over the moon. With Russell’s win, it’s a great day for British cycling. That was a wonderful win for him, I think we can be very proud,” Millar said.
Dutchman Lieuwe Westra’s early mark was bettered by Alberto Contador. For twenty minutes, it looked like the recent Paris-Nice winner would take victory before Millar took the fastest time by two seconds.
“It was the perfect course,” Millar continued, referring to the corner-strewn circuit, which started with a kilometre-long climb. “I felt on top; when you roll out on that hill, you know straight away if you are or not.”
He flies to Belgium tonight, hoping to build on his good form and condition by challenging for the Three Days of De Panne which starts on Tuesday.
“Anything can happen at any time in De Panne; there can be a break in the peloton or god knows what. We have a very strong team there, and they’ll be very motivated to help me out. Hopefully I’ll have a good couple of weeks now,” he said.
Criterium International 2010, Stage three: Porto-Vecchio individual time-trial
1. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Transitions 7.7km in 9-49
2. Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana at 2sec
3. Michael Rogers (Aus) HTC-Columbia at 4sec
4. Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil at 9sec
5. Benat Intxausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 11sec
6. Maxime Monfort (Bel) HTC-Columbia at 12sec
7. Laurent Mangel (Fra) Saur-Sojasun at same time
8. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team at same time
9. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 13sec
10. Tiago Machado (Por) Team RadioShack at 15sec
78. Russell Downing (GB) Team Sky at 1-01
Final general classification
1. Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom 7-11-59
2. Michael Rogers (Aus) HTC-Columbia at 14sec
3. Tiago Machado (Por) Team RadioShack at 15sec
4. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 19sec
5. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Transitions at same time
6. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team at 22sec
7. Chris Horner (USA) Team RadioShack at 25sec
8. Maxime Monfort (Bel) HTC-Columbia at 26sec
9. Ben Hermans (Bel) Team RadioShack at 35sec
10. Benat Intxausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 39sec
14. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Transitions at 56sec
15. Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana at 1-08
35. Thomas Lofkvist (Swe) Team Sky at 3-07
47. Lance Armstrong (USA) Team RadioShack at 5-05
87. Russell Downing (GB) Team Sky at 21-53
Final podium: Pierrick Fedrigo wins (centre), Michael Rogers second (left) and Tiago Machado (right) third