Miller (Team Garmin) is one of the classiest riders in pro cycling. He’s also the most jinxed. Since his EPO days as the world’s best time-trialer Miller’s come back clean, honest and relentlessly hard luck. Colds, crashes, mechanicals–it’s been a difficult road back to the top. He’s lost stages by slipped chains, bare seconds and cruel fate.
In today’s 180k stage from Gerona to Barcelona, Miller jumped the early break and was the virtual yellow jersey on the road. Fortune finally cracked a big, wide smile despite the rain, wind and treacherous roads. Numerous crashes slowed the pack with GC hopeful Michael Rogers hitting the tarmac and perhaps ending his tour. But Miller, who’d targeted this stage and admiitted to feeling stronger than he’d felt in years, looked powerful and focused.
The Astana-led peleton sweep up the other breakaway riders, yet Miller stayed in full time trial mode, driving hard, still holding a minute with five kilometers to go. So it was heart-breaking to watch as the slight uphill finish and charging train wiped out his best chance in years. A stage made for the strong sprinters, Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) launched out of Oscar Freire’s slipstream to take the stage. Miller won nothing but a hot hotel shower and another two bowls of pasta.
So we direct David Miller’s attention to the power of the rabbits foot, the light-weight titanium horse-shoe, a bushel of four leaf clovers, whatever he can get his hands on. Miller needs a Get Out Of Jail Card. He’s best friends with Lance Armstrong, so perhaps he should have slipped the Texan 100 euros. As boss of the peloton again, Armstrong could simply have called off the final chase, leaving Miller to solo in a winner.
We applaud David Miller for his out-spoken stance against doping. But we wish he could get a much-needed injection of good luck.