Millar saving energy for greater challenge

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David Millar was in an untroubled mood after losing the leader's yellow jersey in yesterday's tough mountain stage of the Dauphiné Libéré.

"Coming first wasn't what I came here for," the Scot said after crossing the finish line in Grenoble over 15 minutes down on the stage winner, his Cofidis team-mate Andrei Kivilev. "The lead was more a temporary bonus from taking second in the time-trial on Thursday. This isn't a race where I want to ride myself into the ground."

Regarded as the traditional French warm-up for the Tour de France, the Alps feature strongly in the eight-day race, and Millar soon found himself in difficulties on the 18-kilometre Col de la Chamrousse climb. "I tried for about 500 metres and then gave up," he admitted. "It wasn't planned I would do that, though. We had been riding on the front all day but there's no point in killing myself. I have to keep my other objectives for the season in mind."

Millar, who won the prologue of last year's Tour, was encouraged by being in the lead group on the Mont Ventoux, a 20km climb on Tuesday. "On Sunday when the terrain is not so difficult, I will be aiming to take a stage win here," he said.