David Millar will climb the Col d’Aubisque today at the Tour de France, look out over the heads of the supporters and squint in search of Paris’ Eiffel Tower. The icon marks a goal for him, the finish of a rough ride.

“If I can get to Paris and see the Eiffel tower,” he said yesterday, “that will be amazing.”

Millar and his Garmin-Transitions team have been kicked around by this Tour de France. Stage one to Brussels was a difficult day for team-mate Tyler Farrar, who was held up in crashes before he was able to have a chance at a sprint win.

The true black day, though, came one day later on the wet, oily roads to Spa.

Millar, Farrar, Julian Dean and team leader Christian Vande Velde all slid and crashed. Vande Velde abandoned the race that night, Farrar soldiered on until his wrist fracture became too much to handle and Millar nearly cracked on Tuesday to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.

He survived, though on the razor’s edge between time-cut and physical breakdown. Stepping out of the team bus this morning, half-dressed and five days into a beard, he thought about the race’s end in one week in Paris.

Ryder Hesjedal’s ride to a possible top ten overall, he explained, helped keep a smile on his face.

“The only thing that remains for me is Paris,” Millar continued.

“The time trial is a bonus. If I can get over these injuries, I have a genuine chance to be up there, but I am facing some of the hardest days to come.”

Millar keeps realistic about his chances for the time trial because he knows that the classification riders are typically strong due to their ability to recover day to day. He thinks more about winning at the Vuelta a España, World Championships and Commonwealth Games.

“I don’t like being just a number, hanging on for dear life and just being in the gruppetto – which is very often lately. That’s not why I do this. I really want to go to the Vuelta to race hard, that’s what I love doing.”

The Vuelta a España features a 46-kilometre time trial in Peñafiel in its last week. Millar will be up for the task, gaining confidence from his winning ride at the Four Days of De Panne this spring and his Vuelta time trial win last year.

First, though, he is searching for Paris’ Eiffel Tower.

Cycling Weekly will be covering Tuesday’s Pyrenean stage 16 with live text updates>>

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Tour de France 2010: Latest news

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Contador versus Schleck: A game of seconds

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Hesjedal pushing his way to the Tour’s top

Renshaw disqualification overshadows Cavendish’s win

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Millar rides through pain barrier to make time cut

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Wiggins to aim for Tour de France stage win?

Dan Lloyd battles on in Tour despite groin strain

Tour de France 2010: Stage reports

Stage 14: Riblon hangs on in Pyrenees to give France fourth stage win

Stage 13: Vino returns to top of Tour after doping ban

Stage 12: Rodriguez wins as Contador attacks

Stage 11: Cavendish bags third stage win but lead out man kicked out of Tour

Stage 10: Cavendish bags third stage win but his lead-out man is kicked out of race

Stage 10: Paulinho claims narrow stage victory on Bastille day

Stage nine: Casar wins stage as Schleck and Contador go head-to-head

Stage seven: Chavanel wins stage and takes overall as Thomas drops out of Tour’s white

Stage six: Cavendish makes it two as Tour hots up

Stage five: Cavendish wins his first stage of Tour

Stage four: Petacchi wins into Reims

Stage three: Hushovd takes dramatic win; Thomas second on stage and GC

Stage three live coverage: As it happened

Stage two: Comeback man Chavanel takes victory in Spa

Stage one: Petacchi wins in Brussels as bunch left in tatters

Prologue: Cancellara pips Martin to win

Tour de France 2010: Photos

Stage 15 photo gallery

Stage 14 photo gallery

Stage 13 photo gallery

Stage 12 photo gallery

Stage 11 photo gallery

Stage 10 photo gallery

Stage nine photo gallery

Stage eight photo gallery

Tour 2010 wallpaper

Stage seven photo gallery

Stage six photo gallery

Stage five photo gallery

Stage four photo gallery

Stage three photo gallery

Stage two photo gallery

Stage one gallery

Prologue photo gallery

Tour de France 2010: Videos

Stage 15 video highlights

Stage 14 video highlights

Stage 13 video highlights

Stage 12 video highlights

Stage 11 video highlights

Stage 10 video highlights

Stage nine video highlights

Stage eight video highlights

Stage seven video highlights

Stage six video highlights

Stage five video highlights

Stage four video highlights

Stage three video highlights

Stage two video highlights

Stage one video highlights

Prologue video highlights

Tour de France 2010: Race guide

Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

Official start list, with race numbers

Brits at the Tour 2010

Tout team guide

Tour jerseys: What they are and what they mean

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Wiggins

Tour de France 2010: Pictures

Tour team presentation, Rotterdam

Tour teams take to the cobbles: Photo special