The Week That Was...

News & Results

01/30/2006| 0 comments
by Ian Melvin
David Millar and Gilberto Simoni in their new outfits. Photo copyright Roadcycling.com.
David Millar and Gilberto Simoni in their new outfits. Photo copyright Roadcycling.com.

The Week That Was...

Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.

It was last week confirmed, after months of speculation that the 2007 Tour de France will begin in the British capital,
London.  The race, starting on July 6 th, is expected to include a prologue time trial passing many of the city?s major sights before a road stage heading south towards the coast of
Kent
.

The specific race details will be announced in a joint press conference due to be held in
London
on February 9 th.  The event is expected to cost
London
?1.5 million to host the two days of racing.

"I am proud to announce that London has successfully bid to host the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in July 2007," said Ken Livingstone, Lord Mayor of
London
. "Hosting the first stage of the legendary French cycle race will raise the profile of cycling in the capital, attract visitors and promote the capital as a venue for international sporting events.

"Cycling in the capital is growing faster than anywhere else in
Europe. I want London to become a world-class cycling city and Transport for
London
has increased investment in cycling from ?5.5 million in 2000, to ?24 million this year.

The race last visited
England
in 1994.

At the Saunier Duval ? Prodir team launch last week, British cyclist David Millar made his return to the sport although he is unable to compete until July, later this year, when he two-year ban expires.

In an interview with Spanish daily, AS, he said "For some, my name will never be clean. But for those who can understand it, in this second stage of my career, I want to show with results that I can be a clean athlete...Competing without external help, to become an icon of clean cycling and use my case as an example for the young. There are many idiots who believe that you can't win without drugs, and we must convince the new generations that this isn't the case."

His return will be at the 2006 Tour de France, an event he hopes to again leave his mark on by winning the opening prologue time trial.  "I'm going to train hard for that day. I'm even preparing a special bike. I know that it's going to be very difficult, but it's a short distance and I have a chance to win."

In a separate interview with The Independent , Millar discussed the importance of the news of
London
hosting the start of the 2007 Tour.   "Although I'll be going for that [the 2006 Tour prologue in Strasbourg] 100 per cent as well,
London
will be the chance of a lifetime."

"It's going to be huge, absolutely massive - the level of interest, everything," said Millar. "It can only be great news for British cycling and compared with 10 years ago, when the race last came to
England
, our federation has the resources now and the schemes all in place to exploit the opportunity a lot better."

In the past, riders have come

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