Millar to support Wiggins Giro rival

David Millar will support Garmin-Sharp team-mate Ryder Hesjedal, one of Sir Bradley Wiggins’s major rivals, at this month’s Giro d’Italia.

Canada’s Hesjedal, 32,

won the event last year,

but Millar’s fellow Briton Wiggins is the favourite for this year’s race, which starts on Saturday.

Two of Lance Armstrong’s former team-mates, who gave evidence against the American, are also in the squad.

Christian Vande Velde and Tom Danielson return from six-month bans.

They were amongst

five riders banned for doping offences,

but they had their suspensions cut from two years because of the evidence they gave to the United States Anti-Doping Agency against Armstrong.

Millar, who was banned for two years for taking the drug EPO in 2003, finished 94th in 2008 and 100th in 2011.

“Winning the Giro d’Italia in 2012 was a dream come true and it will be a true honour to pin on the number one bib on Saturday,” Hesjedal said.

“My season has been built around the Giro again this year with the goal of defending my title and the whole team is coming into it very focused and extremely motivated.

“I know we have a great team to be able to do that, and we will work hard, every day, with our goal in mind.”

Current Tour de France champion Wiggins

is aiming to be only the eighth person to win the Giro and Le Tour

in the same season.

Two-time Giro winner Ivan Basso

has withdrawn from the race

because of a cyst on a buttock.

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