Millar triumphs on Stage 12

David Millar became the fourth Britain to win a Tour de France stage in 2012

David Millar became the fourth Britain to win a Tour de France stage in 2012

First published in National Sport © by

David Millar out-sprinted his breakaway companions to claim victory on Tour de France stage 12.

Twelve years after winning the prologue on his Tour debut, the 35-year-old Scot was triumphant on the 226-kilometre route from Saint-Jean de Maurienne to Annonay-Davezieux after a day-long escape.

Millar (Garmin-Sharp) won the dash to the line from Jean-Christophe Peraud (Ag2r La Mondiale), who finished second after the duo broke clear of their other breakaway companions in the final 3km. It was the fourth British stage win of the 2012 Tour after victories for Team Sky trio Mark Cavendish, Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins.

Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) won the sprint for third place, five seconds behind Millar, with Cyril Gautier (Europcar) fourth and Robert Kiserlovski (Astana) fifth.

The peloton contested the race for sixth, with Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) beating Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale), who was frustrated by the Australian apparently veering off his line in the finale. It was possible Goss would be relegated for the manoeuvre.

Wiggins was part of the peloton which rolled in seven minutes 54 seconds behind Millar and retained the race leader's yellow jersey for a fifth day.

Froome remained second, 2mins 5secs behind, with Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) 2:23 back in third and defending champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) 3:19 adrift in fourth. But the day - the 45th anniversary of the death of Britain's first maillot jaune, Tom Simpson - belonged to Millar, the most recent Briton to lead the Tour before Wiggins.

It was an emotional success after a two-year suspension following his admission in 2004 that he took the banned blood-booster EPO.

Millar, now a fervent anti-doping campaigner, won the 13th stage to Bezier in 2002, but asked for his time-trial win on stage 19 in 2003 to be wiped from the record books after his confession.

His attempt to win in Barcelona on a solo escape in 2009 was snuffed out by the peloton, but now he has his third triumph in his 11th Tour. Two weeks on Saturday Millar is set to compete in his first Olympics in 12 years after the British Olympic Association's bylaw banning those with prior doping bans was scrapped.


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