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Monday, July 9, 2012

Book review: Racing through the Dark: The Fall and Rise of David Millar [The Telegraph]


Book review: Racing through the Dark: The Fall and Rise of David Millar
Straight talking: David Millar reveals all on drugs in cycling Photo: AFP

Persistent reports of an early season illness and delayed start to the season for Dave Millar this year were met with a knowing wink and a smile by some of us in the press room.

Being chained to the kitchen table in Girona and having to tap out 140,000 words by mid May does tend to cramp your style a bit Dave but now the worst is over and all the blood sweat and tears was worthwhile.
Racing through the Dark: The Fall and Rise of David Millar is a sporting masterpiece, a timeless snapshot of a sportsman plummeting the depths and miraculously bouncing back both as a rider and a man.
Like the very worst alpine climbs there were plenty of false finishes but Millar made across the finishing line in the end. Come rain or shine, not to mention serious injury as was the case on the Tour de France last year, he normally finishes a Grand Tour and the book is certainly that. No avenue is left unexplored.
It's all there, everything you want to read about. His youthful love of riding and living fast, the prevalent drug culture hitting him smack between the eyes on his first day as a professional; how he fought temptation for a couple of years but then yielded – strangely just a few days after he had claimed victory in the Tour of Denmark riding entirely clean.
He dabbled and to be honest is not even sure if EPO actually helped much, certainly his best rides were almost all clean including his TDF Prologue win in 2000 his stage in at Castres in 2002 and, obviously his stage wins at the Giro and Vuelta since he returned from his two year ban.

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