When David Millar takes to the start line of the 2009 Vuelta a Espana, he will join the exclusive group of riders who have participated in all three Grand Tours in the same year.

Having already ridden the 2009 Giro d’Italia in May and Tour de France in July, Millar will ride in the Vuelta (August 29-September 20) as preparation for the road World Championships in Switzerland (September 27).

“It wasn’t supposed to be like that, it’s just how things have unfolded,” Millar told Cycling Weekly just after the Tour de France had finished in Paris.

“The Giro was kind of an add-on, so now I’m just keeping to my original plan and doing the Vuelta.”

Riding all three Grand Tours is a feat that only a handful of riders achieve in any given year, such is the punishing nature of the schedule.

Millar will be one to watch in the Vuelta’s three individual time trial stages – the Scot placed fifth in the final individual test against the clock in the Tour. He’ll also undoubtedly be getting himself into breaks to try his hand at the odd stage win or two.

The 2009 Vuelta a Espana starts in Assen, Netherlands, on Saturday, August 29, with a 4.5km opening time trial on a motorcycle circuit. The race finishes in Madrid on Sunday, September 20.

You can read more about David Millar’s thoughts after the Tour de France in this week’s Cycling Weekly magazine.