Racing Through the Dark: The Fall and Rise of David Millar

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Millar is a world champion and won many important races so he has the authority to speak on team dynamics, sponsorship, the cycling season and racing strategies. He raced from childhood through his late 30's. Hence, he had to transition from being the team's star to being a support for the team's star. There is a very cool story about a young fan getting a picture with Millar after one race, only to later meet Millar as a World Champion himself motivated to that position by Millar.

Millar makes a very good and believable argument that he almost had no choice but to do whatever he could to win. Even realizing this is Millar's side of the story, the book convinced me to sympathize with Millar's position. There is no short-cut explanation though. You must read the entire book to understand why Millar and most anyone in his situation would do what he did. After reading this, you wonder if other sports are really that much different from the do anything to win attitude that exists in professional cycling.

What secrets in other sports will be uncovered in time! An exceptional story of racing and drug use that will be enjoyable for non cyclists as well as cyclists. A Scot who partially grows up in Hong Kong and luckily stumbles in to a sport at which he is very good. Different from another book I read by Paul Kimmage, Millar quickly makes his mark and is a professional. He is adamant not to dope and an overriding theme of this book is how well he rode without doping. But over a three week tour, there will be incredible weaknesses without the sophisticated drug use. What separates this book is the individual stories of success, some of which come quickly out of nowhere.

Some are not even wins like the incredible breakaway at the Spanish Vuelta. This is where Millar is at his best describing minute details and you share in his joy. And another story of despair as he fights the thoughts of quitting the tour on an incredibly difficult day. And there is the story of how he falls in to drug use and his eventual discovery and legal problems. This is a tragic tale well told. Another separation of this book is details of the effect on his personal life as well as his ultimate return on a team committed to testing and riding drug free. Known in the biz as the Garmin team, this is a great success story.

I had no knowledge of Millar and wasn't aware of his time trial prowess. The book closes with an incredible race for his country and just a great way to finish this excellent book. There are also great stories of friends like Lance Armstrong, most incredibly positive, and also new star Mark Cavendish. This adds to a great book. I'd love to see one more updated chapter with the doping case of Armstrong just concluded this year.

Other than that, thanks "Dave the Brave" for a great read!!! It was so good I could start over and read it again and enjoy it just as much. See all reviews. Most recent customer reviews. Published 1 year ago. Published on September 2, Published on August 13, Published on August 3, Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. Racing Through the Dark: The Fall and Rise of David Millar. Set up a giveaway. Customers who viewed this item also viewed.

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Flynn Great, thanks for the heads-up. Dec 09, Tyler Hamilton's book is superior in every way. Sep 13, Aug 22, James rated it it was amazing Shelves: A fascinating insight into the mind and career of David Millar, one of the UK's Scotland's top professional cyclists.


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From his early days growing up in Hong Kong, through his time as a fresh-faced neo-pro with the Cofidis team - determined to be the best, but also to be the best clean - his continual exposure to doping and his eventual, unsurprising, descent into doping himself. Finally, coming out the other side, exposed and starting to rebuild his career - equally determined that the behavio A fascinating insight into the mind and career of David Millar, one of the UK's Scotland's top professional cyclists. Finally, coming out the other side, exposed and starting to rebuild his career - equally determined that the behaviours don't need to be repeated for future neo-pros.

In part shocking - that Millar's team was quite so happy to leave him entirely unmanaged - he really was viewed as just fresh meat for the professional cycling scene; if he does well the team are happy to profit, if he crashes and burns they appear equally happy to just cast him aside. In part sad - without any real form of support, Millar seems to almost revel in his destructive personality. Throughout the book there are some surprising name-drops, riders who I had no idea had been implicated in doping scandals, but I assume that you wouldn't be allowed to name a rider in your memoirs unless his doping was a documented fact.

His parallel journey with Lance is one of the most interesting. Starting out as a doe-eyed fanboy, he eventually loses a lot of that respect as he realises that whether Lance is doping or not, his refusing to speak out on the subject is letting cycling down even more. It's well written, which is made more impressive as the book appears to be mostly written by David himself.

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Racing Through the Dark by David Millar

Presumably guidance and editing provided by Jeremy Whittle. Detailed and engaging throughout, the book feels like a cathartic labour of love for the author. Unfortunately, just as the most annoying anti-smoker is an ex-smoker, so Millar sometimes runs the risk of getting a little carried away with his self-righteousness.

Ultimately though, this is a book about redemption. Initially, the redemption of David Millar himself, but also his planned redemption of cycling itself. This book was pure love. Wasn't sure what to expect but it was really well written and could hardly put it down. I don't know too much about pro-cycling and therefore learnt a lot about what it was like in the 90s.

Racing Through the Dark

Really fascinating insight into the thoughts and inner workings of David Millar as well. He starts from the start and does a really good job of This book was pure love. He starts from the start and does a really good job of it without being boring. This book made me do research into the characters mentioned and the sport in general.

It also makes me want to buy a new racing bike and try a TdF stage ride Highly recommend for cycling fans. Jul 17, Christina rated it really liked it Shelves: My Journey Back to Life about the beginning of his career, his battle with cancer and his way back to the sport, made me even more appreciative of cycling and the Tour de France.

It makes me even more aware of the dark side of cycling. Coincidentally, I began reading this book on July 13th, Millar is racing again. But how did this young Scott fall so deep? What Millar describes, is a sport where doping is the rule more than anything else. Still, throughout it all he claims that he never viewed the victories won when doped, as real. But his changed perception of normality as well as his curiosity get the better of him: With all his struggle against it, you would have thought his first time doing EPO would have been a huge deal — instead it turned out to be something of an anticlimax.

He describes it as the easiest injection he ever had and the whole procedure as very tiny process, over in a couple of minutes. Of course, he had been slowly conditioned to this through a long period and was completely used to self-injections of various supplements. Millar comes out of it all as a crusader against doping. And this is how he comes across in his book. As a very honest Scot who loves to race and ride his bike clean and who wants everyone else to do the same.

However, I did check out a few things online while reading this book and apparently Millar has changed his story from he testified till he wrote this book. But he does come across as very honest and the book is very interesting to read. One of the dominating riders in this period, has of course been Lance Armstrong. Millar does say that the riders winning the big races like the Tour , the Giro and the Vuelta , were the ones using doping.

Yes, there are all the stories and rumours, but I never saw him dope with my own eyes. If he did dope, then, after all that he has said and done, it would be unforgivable. He lives life on a different level, controlling his world in omnipotent manner, leading by example but also be fear. His ability to motivate, based on his absolute self-belief and complete fearlessness of failure, is legendary. His own lack of fear brainwashes those around him to believe in everything he does.

He also says that the riders riding alongside Lance, were for the most part taken for doping when no longer riding with Lance — and several of these are the ones now accusing Lance of doping. Still, this is not a book about Lance. Aug 29, Mike rated it really liked it. David Millar has grown on me. Whilst his endless preaching over the perils of doping in professional cycling can come across as sanctimonious and insufferably self-righteous, he's an articulate figure in the sport and a real beacon for its potential drug-free future. Certainly, recent Tours have been all the better for not worrying about cheering someone on, only for them to get banned and their heroics exposed as the result of performance enhancing substances, and Millar has played a role in im David Millar has grown on me.

Certainly, recent Tours have been all the better for not worrying about cheering someone on, only for them to get banned and their heroics exposed as the result of performance enhancing substances, and Millar has played a role in improving things. Ironically, this book's foreword comes from one of the biggest hitters in twenty first century cycling, Sir Dave Brailsford, who emerges as the real hero in Millar's tale also. Based on Millar's many comments, one can expect an honest account of his slide into drug use, and that's just what follows. Almost heartbreaking is the inevitability of his collision with EPO, the way he grows as a rider determined to stay 'clean' and yet so pervasive is the use of doping that his subsequent usage is unavoidable.

It turns out that doping was commonplace, its introduction to the diet of riders so pervasive and all-reaching that, almost before he knew it, Millar was a regular user, accepting it as simply part of the sport. Along the way, we meet many of professional cycling's great contemporaries, Lance Armstrong looming large over the sport and emerging as charismatic and occasionally as a great guy, yet ultimately blinkered to the need to clean things up.


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It's a shame that Armstrong's confession over doping took place not long after Racing through the Dark was published, as the American's fall from grace is the obvious juxtaposition to Millar's own experiences and its absence in the narrative is disappointing. Elsewhere, the story is one of Millar's growing up in a broken home, spending his formative years in Hong Kong and Britain, which helped to define his essentially lone existence as a cyclist.

The stuff about his despair following the ban is riveting, partly for its brutal honesty he blames himself as much as anyone, and really goes through a 'down and out' period , and this just makes his comeback, older, wiser and more forthright, all the more winning. Racing through the Dark is a fine book from one of cycling's more engaging figures. It's pretty much self-penned without a ghost writer, which makes it more valuable still. May 16, Giles Knight rated it it was amazing Shelves: A powerfully written and open autobiography of a stubbornly talented cyclist, who started out as a naive young pro defiantly against doping, who was slowly and gradually lured in and caught up in the world of cheating, banned for two years and returned clean, an anti-doping figurehead.

Millar's early pro career showed much promise riding clean as his team which facilitated cheating doped around him. After his break through season, team leader responsibilities followed and leading a constantly lonely high pressure life, Millar finally succumbed to the world of doping that he had so tried to resist. The book tells the tale of this likeable self reflecting man, battling doubts and demons whilst he slowly battles back to success and fame as a new man with purpose; The outspoken former doper, resenting what he had become and bidding to fix the sport he loves as an anti doping spokesman, educating his generation whilst making sure the next don't suffer the fate.

Dave Brailsford in particular comes out of this book a true hero. Brilliantly told, an inspirational book that I thoroughly enjoyed. A true underdog story. A well-written inside view of doping culture in professional cycling. Also, the book provides a look into the life and mindset of a professional athlete. Although we're often at home, we are rarely actually there , our heads being wrapped up in whatever our next sporting objective may be. At times the self-absorption is taken to the point of obsession.

Life boils down t A well-written inside view of doping culture in professional cycling. Life boils down to the cycle of racing, training, eating, resting, dieting. And if one of those functions isn't going well, the subsequent neurosis leads to misery. The smallest issues can become the most important things in life and reality slips away. As revealing as the book is, I can help but feel that it's being told with some restraint.

But this book isn't a sensationalist finger-pointing tell-all. David Millar wants to change the culture of sport by sharing his personal descent and survival. I would highly recommend this book for sports fans, even those who "don't like to read". Even at nearly pages, the narrative flows quickly, the structure is clear, and the story is compelling.

With renewed doping accusations swirling around Lance Armstrong and the Tour de France starting this week, Racing Through the Dark is compulsory pre-race reading. View all 3 comments. Aug 21, Paul rated it really liked it Shelves: Millar was one of the last British cyclists to go through the older system of being an amateur, before turning pro and being a domestique and main rider for the European teams. For all that he has done, he is now a major ambassador for anti doping. In the book he talks of the om Millar was one of the last British cyclists to go through the older system of being an amateur, before turning pro and being a domestique and main rider for the European teams.

In the book he talks of the omerta that exists in the teams, and between the teams and the UCI, even now. It will take a decade to clean the sport of cycling up, especially after the fallout from the Armstrong saga, but cycling is changing. Really good book, a must read for all cycling fans. Apr 16, Ashley rated it really liked it. Millar does an excellent job of leading you down the path he took that resulted in him doping and the one that took him back to clean riding. It's not a flattering portrayal of the cycling world, but it does seem like an honest one. For me, it was also a good introduction to cycling as a sport and all that goes into strategy, preparation, team dynamics, racing schedule, etc.

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Understanding the sport better definitely makes it more interesting to watch. Jun 05, Michael rated it it was ok Shelves: Because of all the Lance Armstrong related hubbub I have not reviewed this because I thought I should do something more than just review this one book, but better to do something than nothing. Many people who are not cycling enthusiasts will not know who David Millar is - there is a Wikipedia article that provides a lengthy overview. Arguably it is a wiser time investment to read what is in Wikipedia than the book.

Millar rode for several teams and was someone from whom success was expected not Because of all the Lance Armstrong related hubbub I have not reviewed this because I thought I should do something more than just review this one book, but better to do something than nothing. Millar rode for several teams and was someone from whom success was expected not long after turning professional, then in he was caught doping and sat out two years.

In he returned to riding as a vocal advocate for riding clean. This memoir that clocks in at close to pages has four parts: The first section is too long - there is no compelling reason to have included most of what is here since little of it provides any background or explanation for what follows. Simply starting to read at page 58 or skimming up to this point would be a way of avoiding most of the pointless reading. The second section - his professional career from through - is the most interesting part of the book.

I have not read Tyler Hamilton's new book but I would guess it is similar. Millar avoids taking direct responsibility for his actions explicitly and offers a variety of excuses, including "it was expected," "the other guys were depending on me," "what I did at first wasn't doping, it is easy to slide over the line into doping" and more.

The description of his life as a cyclist and his fellow riders during this period reveals that things were quite bad - one wonders that something didn't set off a reaction then, long before Lance was busted. Riders didn't just take things to perform better during the race, they took various things to recover faster and took sleep aids as well.

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