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If I were the sponsor I would be ticked-Sunday's Vuelta(25 posts)

If I were the sponsor I would be ticked-Sunday's Vueltagregario
Sep 23, 2002 7:43 AM
So, your thoughts on David Millar stopping 1 meter from the finish line, stripping off his race number as a protest while lying 9th overall? If I were the sponsor I would be livid. Yes, he crashed a couple times and a team car (BigMat?) actually ran over his leg, but he did finish the stage. Maybe he was too injured to finish the Vuelta but if not I think it shows a complete lack of professionalism. I know the British press really pump him up as a potential Grand Tour winner but I just can't see it. I know Laurent Fignon thinks the guy doesn't have what it takes.
Sep 23, 2002 8:13 AM
First of all, he may have started 9th overall, but he definitely wasn't 9th overall when he finished.

Second, if you were the sponsor, all you would really care about is if the photo of Millar that appears in the newspaper showed your logo on the barriers behind him.

Third, who cares about Millar? He elected to abandon the race over a questionable protest. It's not like he was kicked out for something scandalous, such as doping. He's a Scottish guy racing on a French team in a Spanish race in which he was basically anonymous. No one will remember any of this tomorrow.
Sep 23, 2002 8:31 AM
Apparently at least Phil Ligget cares, did you see his comments about David's abandonment in his daily comments on the OLN page?

Cyclesport will still find a way to put him on the cover. nmDave Hickey
Sep 23, 2002 8:45 AM
oh I don't know....gregario
Sep 23, 2002 9:03 AM
because that's what he's paid to do? not throw a temper tantrum. See more comments on the Vuelta board.
oh I don't know....mr_spin
Sep 23, 2002 9:17 AM
He's not paid to crash or be run over by cars. And I'm sure David Millar has more than justified his salary for the sponsor. He won a Tour stage this year, among other things.
Sunday's Vuelta was epic - I wish more saw itMaartin
Sep 23, 2002 9:51 AM
The steepness, the wet weather, the crashes, the determination of the riders, man was an epic day. David Millar was but one moment in the day. I wish more people saw it.
Ditto...EPIC!El Caballito
Sep 23, 2002 3:30 PM
David Millar who? If he elected not to finish, tough.

What happened yesterday was classic. Congrats, in order to all that finished under those conditions and lets not forget that wild climb.

What more can we say about Heras. He kicked a$$!

As a side note, it would be nice to see Lance help R.H. on his turf. Any comment?
Empathize with the guy for a moment...Gator
Sep 23, 2002 10:32 AM
You've raced pretty much the entire season. It's been a rough race. You've got numbing fatigue. It's a totally crappy day. You're doing about 50 mph down rain-slick mountain, somehow get tangled, take bone-crunching fall and slide on your butt into a ditch. After busting your hump for stage after stage, your race is over, shot, done. Then a CAR RUNS YOU OVER. You somehow get back on the bike and then have to work your way up a foggy, 13K 17-24 percent grade through a gauntlet of rowdy Spaniards, stalled team cars and weaving camera bikes.

Let's face it--the guy had a ROUGH day. He was pissed, he was tired and he'd had enough. And while it's easy to say, lounging on the couch, drinking a beer and staring at a 36" TV, that the guy was a poor sport, put yourself in that position. Do a four-hour century. Now do one every day this week. Now do another on Sunday, only this time, you get doored while going 25 mph and roll into a drainage ditch. As you get up, some redneck in a pickup pegs you in the side of the head with a half-full Busch. Now go do sprints up the biggest hill in town about 20 times.

How do YOU feel? Yeah, I know he's a pro, that's what he does, yadayada. But he's human. And you saw that race, it was freakin' HELL. I'd cut the guy some slack.
Don't cut him some slack...Andy
Sep 23, 2002 10:52 AM
... cut the man a check! That was a brutal day of racing. I've never seen anything like it.
he is an idiot.fcebedo
Sep 23, 2002 10:56 AM
Was he protesting that it was raining? What a fool. So it's steep, very steep. But the fact of the matter is the weather conditions made it truly harsh. Pouring rain, 10 feet visibility... that's what made this stage truly, truly epic.

I saw stage twice yesterday. It was the perfect backdrop for superhuman efforts with the whole race on the line. I did not see a stage that good in the Giro or the TDF.

So David Millar, be a professional. Don't throw a temper tantrum and spit on the face of the organizers, your sponsors and your fans. Grow up. Sure you were down in the dumps but don't do something you'll regret for the rest of your career.

thank you. you said it better than I (nm)gregario
Sep 23, 2002 10:59 AM
not just the rainclimbo
Sep 23, 2002 12:06 PM
if you read more of what he said, the road was also in bad condition, gravel etc. all over the place, difficult riding conditions (exactly how bad it was who knows). I don't agree with what he did but in the emotion of a ride like that I can't blame him. He's paid to ride but he has some concerns over safety. Many people I know wouldn't race in conditions like that for 10 miles let alone at the end of a stage like that, even if they got paid for it.

And someone msaid it would all be forgotten tomorrow? Maybe in the US but not over in the UK.
his was protesting re-the motorcade, not the weather(nm)pukka
Sep 23, 2002 11:10 AM
As I understand it,TJeanloz
Sep 23, 2002 11:11 AM
I didn't see the coverage live, but as I understand it, several riders asked that cars not be allowed on certain portions of yesterday's course, because it was causing a dangerous situation on steep and narrow roads. The organizers said no, it's not that dangerous, etc..

Then put yourself in David's shoes, he's warned the organizers that he's worried about being run over; they say: "don't be ridiculous, that would NEVER happen"; then he gets run over. I think he did the right thing.

Not all that different than the Tour of Argentina a couple of years ago where several teams pulled out half-way through a stage because the road conditions were unsafe.
but he admits he was wrongDougSloan
Sep 23, 2002 12:30 PM
He could have withdrawn in protest *after* completing the stage. To quit one meter before the finish is sort of stupid, and he admits it (sort of):

Cycling-Millar not seeking Tour of Spain reinstatement - Cofidis

AVILES, Spain (Reuters) - Briton David Millar, who quit the Tour of Spain in protest on Sunday, is not seeking reinstatement, his Cofidis team's sporting director Francis Van Londersele has said.

The 25-year-old Scot, who won two stages in the Vuelta last year, was classified as having abandoned the three-week event on Sunday when he handed in his race number within a metre of the finish line of the 15th stage and then refused to cross it.

Millar, who crashed twice on the descent before the final climb to the summit of the Angliru and had his back wheel destroyed in the second accident after it was touched by a race vehicle, was protesting about what he felt were dangerous race conditions.

"There is absolutely no possibility that David will return to the race," Van Londersele told Reuters.

"He has already left the team hotel for his home in Biarritz," he said. Millar was ninth overall in the race before Sunday's stage.

"Yesterday (Sunday) I talked this over with race officials and they said the fact that he had taken off his race number automatically meant an abandon. There is no possibility that he will return to the race."

Van Londersele added that Millar had apologised to his team mates and staff "for a decision which has a lot to do with his youth.

"It's a question of self-control. But he knows as well as anybody that when you start a course you accept all it entails, be it dangerous or not, and there are accepted ways of registering your protest about race conditions."

Van Londersele said he planned to contact race organisers Unipublic later on Monday to present the Cofidis team's and Millar's formal apologies.

"David knows this and he has accepted it," he said.

"Now he will ride the world (championships) and the three last Italian races... I believe he owes Cofidis that, because he earns a wage every month to race."

Monday was the second rest day on the Tour of Spain. The race continues on Tuesday with the 154-km 16th stage from Aviles to Leon.
he is an idiot.Shadow11
Sep 23, 2002 3:45 PM

remember this the next time you flip off a car for doing something stupid and your in a rage...and you go home all pissed off and go straight to the msg board to tell us all about some altercation..
are you covering for him Shadow11?fcebedo
Sep 24, 2002 6:58 AM
Driving on the freeways, I used to flip off cars left and right, I cut them off, they cut me off. Everyone's an asshole or a moron. I was 19 then and I was the idiot... driving 30mph faster than everyone else. I'm a lot calmer now and I think about my actions and reactions first.

So David Millar, don't listen to Shadow11. You might be in the heat of battle and biting off someone's ear might be what Mike Tyson's telling you to do. Think twice, be a man, be a pro.

Bruneel was driving like a mad man...Bruno
Sep 23, 2002 2:42 PM
Cars shouldn't be allowed in the last sections. The USPS team car was zooming by everyone to get to Heras (I don't know why). The road was very narrow. At one point Gonzales was on the left of the car and Beloki on the right. I thought this was tactical move by Bruneel to distract (scare?) his opponents. Cars had to be pushed up the hill, looked like a mess. I'm sure there were a lot of incidents not shown on TV that made riders angry. In any case you don't throw a 9th place because of bad organization that was an outcome of unpredicted circumstances (rain).
funny thoughtDougSloan
Sep 23, 2002 2:48 PM
If they had been driving SUV's or at least Subaru's, they would not have been getting stuck up the hill.

I guess that tells us something about the slope of that hill, huh?

Would you let your boss get away with it?Bill B
Sep 23, 2002 3:34 PM
That whole stage was bullshit. Would you go to work if your boss did everything he could to make the performance of your duties harder? Road racing should be point to point, from one place to another. There is no place at the top of that hill, there is nothing there, there is no reason to go there. The only reason that road was ever paved was so that they could run their race over it. In the TdF when they go up the alps and cols the road is leading somewhere, a ski resort or something, a destination, a reason to go there. How can we make second tier races more exciting? Let's plant land mines in the road, now that would be exciting.
who's the boss?DougSloan
Sep 23, 2002 3:45 PM
I don't understand your point about the boss -- do you mean the race organizers?

I think it's really, really cool that they ran up that hill; it made for great viewing and good competition; the rain made it twice as bad, but hey, that's the breaks.

There's a big difference between a hill, fairly common in bike racing, and land mines, don't you think? Yes, I would be opposed to land mines.

What't the point, by the way, of slogging upVentoux (photo below)? My bet is that everyone came right back down the hill and moved on to the next stage after the finish that day.

Hill top finishes are dramatic and separate the men from the boys more than anything else in these big tours. I like'em (and Lance likely would not win without them).

who's the boss?Bill B
Sep 23, 2002 4:11 PM
O.K. land mines would be a little over the top. The organizers laid out a stupidly hard stage to race on. It was dangerous and could have ruined a career. The riders had no real choice as to ride it or not, they have to go where their team sends them and the team is going to send them where they will get the most exsposure. I accept that racing my bike is dangerous and take measures to minimalize those risks, that includes not going to crits where the organizers lay out courses to be "exciting for the fans" that usually means crashes. I break my arm sprinting around a hair pin turn with rr tracks for a Dunkin' Donuts gift certificate and I'm screwed, just like David Millar being run over by a team car because the finish at the top would be so exciting. I'm not saying that races should be run on flat, smooth sufaces, but let's not get carried away with "exciting".
who's the boss?Shadow11
Sep 23, 2002 6:32 PM
As far as grand tour stages go, this one will soon rank with other bad weather days (1988/89? Giro when Hampsten took over the Giro on the infamous snow covered Gavia Pass)..the biggest issue of the day wasn't the weather..but the team cars..maybe neutral support and some type of feed, tv moto only next time..
He drove like a maniac. nmEl Caballito
Sep 23, 2002 3:32 PM