Saturday 15 May 2010 | Cycling feed

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Giro d'Italia 2010: David Millar can claim the pink jersey and make history, says Sean Kelly

David Millar can wrest the leader's pink jersey off Alexandre Vinokourov in the Giro d'Italia later today and make British cycling history, Sean Kelly has said.

 
David Millar - Giro d'Italia 2010 - David Millar can claim the pink jersey and make history, says Sean Kelly
Millar's time: David Millar, pictured during the 2008 Tour de France, can take the overall lead of the Giro d'Italia if the former national time-trial champion's team produce the goods later today Photo: REUTERS

Millar, 33, currently trails race leader Vinokourov by a second after three stages and can become the first Briton to lead all three Grand Tours should his Garmin-Transitions team produce a good ride in the 32.5-kilometre team time-trial from Savigliano to Cuneo later today.

Following two chaotic days of racing in Holland that saw numerous crashes decimate the peloton, the Giro will resume on home soil with many of the pre-race favourites already struggling in the overall general classification.

Bradley Wiggins who wore his first pink jersey, or maglia rosa, in Sunday's second stage following his victory in the individual time-trial, has dropped to 55th in the general classification, 4 minutes 28 seconds behind the Kazakh, after the Team Sky leader crashed during both days of open racing in Holland.

Millar's Garmin-Transitions team, meanwhile, will be desperate to put their man in pink and avenge their HTC-Columbia rivals who won last year's team time-trial.

Likewise, Wiggins's Team Sky will be hoping for a podium finish in Cuneo and, in turn, reduce their leader's overall deficit.

Kelly, himself a Grand Tour winner, has backed the Scot, saying: "Millar is in a really good position at the moment.

"With the team they've got for the team time-trial, he will definitely be looking to take the pink jersey. I think he has a great chance."

The 1988 Vuelta a España winner added that Wiggins, a former team-mate of Millar's, will struggle if he is to claim his first major stage race victory as his British-backed team make their Grand Tour debut.

"The unfortunate situation for Wiggins is that he's lost an awful lot of time," he said.

Meanwhile, Vinokourov has admitted that he will ride in support of Alberto Contador at this year's Tour de France.

"In the past everything was for victory as team leader at the Tour," said the Astana rider.

"This year I have a different goal. I came to the Giro in my peak form, so the Giro is number one for me, and at the Tour de France my goal will be to help Contador win, so I will ride the Giro, take a break, then ride the Tour."

 
 
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