Reuters - Wed, 09 Jun 10:36:00 2010
David Millar said he now has what it takes to tackle the mountains but still takes a team approach to the Tour de France.
The British Garmin-Transitions rider told Reuters at the Criterium du Dauphine he would concentrate on working for team leader Christian Vande Velde of the United States.
Last year, former team-mate and compatriot Bradley Wiggins finished fourth in the Tour after a strict diet resulted in him shedding seven kilos over two years.
Millar, who has three Tour stage wins to his name, did not go through that kind of ordeal.
Quizzed on his weight loss, he said with a smile: "I'm glad you noticed. I lost three kilos - I may have another to lose."
Millar, a time trial specialist, is looking forward to the mountain stages on the demanding Criterium du Dauphine, a warm-up race for the Tour de France starting next month.
The Scot showed good form at the Criterium International earlier this year, finishing 14th in the mountain stage before winning the final time trial in Corsica.
"I feel much better in the mountains than last year. That is why I am looking forward to this week's mountain stages," said Millar behind white-framed sunglasses.
"I will see if I can keep up with the climbers. Here, with the exception of (Alberto) Contador, the level is quite homogenous. I can take my chance. I need a result, I need a win."
Millar, however, is not looking for personal glory on the Tour, even if Wiggins did leave to join Team Sky during the close season.
Vande Velde will be the leader and it suits Millar perfectly.
"I will have to be in top form for the third week, as long as possible, to help Christian -- our leader," he said. "Where I finish in Paris does not matter."
Millar now has more ambitions for the classics after racing in the Flanders this season.
"I won the Three Days of La Panne, I was well in the Tour of Flanders," he explained.
There is one classic, however, he will not race anymore - Paris-Roubaix, the Queen of the Classics with its cobblestone sections.
"Paris-Roubaix is horrible. I have no regrets, it was a great experience but it was horrible. Now I know that the Tour of Flanders is for me," he said.
"Next year, I will race all the classics, but I'm done with Paris-Roubaix."
Dauphine Libere: Every day 2pm LIVE on British Eurosport 2 (Sky 411 / Virgin 525) & on the Eurosport Player.
Tour of Switzerland: Starts Sunday 4pm LIVE on British Eurosport (Sky 410 / Virgin 521) & on the Eurosport Player.