David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) reached the top again with a Tour de France victory today in Annonay Davezieux. It marks the anniversary of Tom Simpson’s death, and Millar’s first win after a doping ban.

“The anniversary of Tom is going to be something special, because of the rider and person he was,” Garmin-Sharp sports director, Allan Peiper said. “David Millar also had a battle in his life. Him winning a stage at 35 years old just shows what an old warrior he is.”

The stage win at Annonay Davezieux comes 12 years since his first Tour de France stage win and six years after coming back from a doping suspension. It also marks 45 years to the day that Simpson died in the Tour.

Millar returned to cycling after admitting doping in 2004 and serving a suspension. After a stint with Saunier Duval, he helped Jonathan Vaughters ramp up team Slipstream’s presence in Europe. He is now part owner of the team, which won its first Grand Tour this year with Ryder Hesjedal in the Giro d’Italia.

Vaughters began the team as a place for clean riders and to show to the world that winning without drugs is possible. Millar is proud of his team and fails to forget his past.

“I am an ex-doper and I don’t think there’s any point in hiding that,” Millar explained. “The reason I was given a second chance is because I have a duty to not forget where I come from, to remind people of where our sports been. I’m quite representative of our sport, I think. We are in a great place now and the future’s looking very rosy, but I don’t think we should forget the past.”

He failed to give a clear answer when asked about the current doping investigation in the USA, which possibly involves his team-mates, David Zabriskie and Christian Vande Velde. They, along with Vaughters, reportedly gave testimony in the Lance Armstrong investigation and are said to be facing suspensions.

He was asked what he said to them and how he motivated the team in light of the news.

“Look, we came into this race with Ryder Hesjedal, he won the Giro, won the Giro clean, and our team’s very proud of what we do for our sport,” Millar continued. “We’ve came in five years ago with a mission to help change the sport and to prove to people it can be done differently, with transparency, we’ve professed that we’re clean. I’m proud of our team.”

His win lifted the team’s morale. Besides the investigation news, it lost Hesjedal and Tom Danielson to a crash involving nearly half of the peloton on the sixth stage to Metz.

Millar won the 12th leg from an escape, which whittled itself down to five. He marked most moves in the final four kilometres, including the successful attack of Jean-Christophe Peraud (Ag2r) at 2.7km. He waited, pulled and then won in a two-up sprint.

“It’s going to be the cap on his career: Olympic selection, winning a stage in the Tour de France in the twilite of his career….” Peiper continued. “He put a stamp on that long stage. It was no easy stage, this wasn’t a gift.”

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Tour de France 2012: Teams, riders, start list



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Stage 12: Millar wins Tour stage nine years from his last



Stage 11: Wiggins strengthens Tour lead as Evans slips back



Stage 10: Voeckler wins and saves his Tour



Stage nine: Wiggins destroys opposition in Besancon TT



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Tour de France 2012: Photo galleries



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Stage 11 by Graham Watson



Stage 10 by Graham Watson



Stage nine by Graham Watson



Stage eight by Graham Watson



Stage seven by Graham Watson



Stage six by Graham Watson



Stage five by Graham Watson



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Stage two by Andy Jones



Stage two by Graham Watson



Stage one by Graham Watson



Prologue photo gallery by Andy Jones



Prologue photo gallery by Roo Rowler



Prologue photo gallery by Graham Watson



Tour de France 2012: Team presentation



Sky and Rabobank Tour de France recce

Tour de France 2012: Live text coverage



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Stage nine live coverage



Stage six live coverage



Stage five live coverage



Stage four live coverage



Stage three live coverage



Cycling Weekly’s live text coverage schedule

Tour de France 2012: TV schedule

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  • John Westwell

    There has been some criticism of Bradley Wiggins recently for not speaking out against doping. Read the article in the Guardian today, Saturday 14 July, for a very clear presentation of his views. Hopefully the article will be translated into French and printed in L’Equipe. As he makes very clear, one of the reason why he and other formerly unheralded riders are now able to compete is that the playing field has been levelled as doping has become increasingly unattractive. I’m unsure as to the reason why the presumably British contributors to this forum feel able to insinuate that Wiggins is doping when – one would assume – they are aware of his history and of the history of British Cycling and its stance on doping. Perhaps they’d like to explain…

  • Samuel G

    Great ride by Millar today, a worthy winner in my opinion. Does anybody know who the oldest stage winner in the tour’s history is? Raymond Poulidor in 1974 aged 38? or anyone older?