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Sunday, 16 February, 2003, 16:47 GMT
Cofidis turn on Millar
Scotland's David Millar
Millar says his Cofidis team-mates ride for themselves
David Millar has been told by his Cofidis team that if he does not like the set-up there he can look elsewhere.

The Scottish cyclist delivered a stinging attack this week, blaming a lack of team spirit at Cofidis for his own disappointing results in recent seasons.

But Cofidis manager Alain Bondue said: "At the end of the day, we don't force anyone to ride for our team and if our system doesn't suit David then he can leave.

David has massive potential but he doesn't act like a champion

Cofidis manager Alain Bondue

"His contract runs until the end of this season so, if he doesn't want to be part of our team, then too bad, we'll say goodbye in 2004."

After winning the Tour de France prologue three years ago, Millar was hailed as the next big star in world cycling.

But he has yet to deliver, finishing 66th in last year's Tour despite a stage win and pulling out of the Tour of Spain amid controversy over a protest at race conditions.

Millar has attracted criticism for his relaxed attitude and playboy lifestyle - and co-team manager Alain Deloeuil went public with his criticism of the 26-year-old, saying Millar should display more grit.

Millar's response was to claim that the French team's practice of paying riders according to their own placings meant they were refusing to sacrifice their chances for a leader.

I'm far from being in a position to win the Tour and at the same time the Cofidis system does not make me happy anymore

David Millar

Bondue did admit that the team's current tactics were not perfect.

But he told French sports daily L'Equipe: "David has massive potential, but the thing is, he doesn't act like a champion.

"So it's easy to put all the blame on Cofidis. He criticises us for not putting enough pressure on him - he's right, but for me it's a quality of the team.

"You're not going to get better results from the riders by shouting at them. The guys have to take on their own responsibility and Millar has to look at himself in the mirror.

"He's 26 years old, and, as he says, he's hardly won anything. It's time for him to make his eternal New Year resolutions last more than two weeks."

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10 Jan 03 | Cycling
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