David Millar bid farewell to his dreams of one last day in yellow at the Tour de France after his Garmin-Sharp squad could only manage sixth place in yeterday's team time trial in Nice.
The 36-year-old Scot would have taken over the yellow jersey if Garmin had won but they were left 17 seconds off a blistering pace set by Orica GreenEdge, who put Simon Gerrans in the maillot jaune instead by completing the 25 kilometre course in 25 minutes 56 seconds.
Millar, who wore yellow on his Tour debut in 2000 but never since, admitted his best chance had already passed on stage two when only a matter of milimetres kept him from taking the Tour leader's jersey, but that did not lessen today's disappointment.
"It was such a big thing and I was so close on Sunday, it was unavoidable that I should be thinking of yellow," he said. "I'm very disappointed. It would have bookended my career perfectly - but that would perhaps have been a bit too perfect. Life's not fair!"
Millar finished fourth in Saturday's chaotic opening stage in Bastia, and was then denied yellow by the narrowest of margins a day later.
Had the wheel of Peter Sagan, who finished second in Ajaccio, been a few millimetres closer to that of stage winner Jan Bakelants, it would have been a different story as the peloton would then have been awarded the same time as the Belgian - and Millar would have taken the jersey.
Despite his disappointment, Millar had no complaints about today's result.
"The ride went fantastic," he said. "I was the one who let the team down a bit. I wasn't on a good day. But the team was incredible. It was disappointing but we can't beat ourselves up.
"We know we are one of the strongest teams but everyone at the Tour de France is incredibly strong. It's disappointing but that's racing.
"We came for a lot of different objectives, this was one of them. But there is still two weeks of racing to go."
Millar said he would now spend those remaining weeks pursuing a very different agenda as he tries to help team-mates Ryder Hesjedal, Dan Martin, Andrew Talansky and Christian Vandevelde in the general classification.
"History dictates we had a reasonable chance but the bottom line was [others] had bigger engines than us," he said.
"It wasn't my day. I've used up my opportunities - Corsica was my race, now I'm a domestique for the GC guys."
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