Cycling book: David Millar’s autobiography

David Millar’s autobiography was published in 2011.

Millar’s book originally came out inbetween the 2011 Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France, entitled Racing Through the Dark: The Fall and Rise of David Millar. According to a French magazine article Millar at one point said the book was hampering his winter training miles, blaming the concentration required to write. He said it brought out the perfectionist in him and ended up focussing a lot of his efforts on writing. He missed the cobbled classics after illness set his form back, so it’s not clear to what extent the writing affected his form- but I’d expect this to be covered in press interviews for the book.

Millar is a guy who polarises fans, engendering extreme differences of opinion ranging from the saintly doping reformer to hypocritical whiner, as this thread on Podium Cafe shows. I perch on the fence on this debate, but am a fan of Millar’s riding and what he’s done for Scotland since being accepted to the National team. He is thoughtful and well spoken and it’s sure to be a good read.

Here, in a full and frank autobiography, David Millar recounts the story from the inside: he doped because ‘cycling’s drug culture was like white noise’, and because of peer pressure. ‘I doped for money and glory in order to guarantee the continuation of my status.’ Five years on from his arrest, Millar is clean and reflective, and holds nothing back in this account of his dark years.

It seems he’s written it largely himself with help from Jeremy Whittle, author of Bad Blood: The Secret Life of the Tour de France, a writer who gradually fell out of love with pro cycling after a succession of doping scandals. Millar has known Whittle for many years and if you want the inside story on Millar’s doping case, or any of the busts through the 2000’s, it’s worth a look. Grilling the Chicken – what a great chapter title.

For a proper review of the book – check out the always-great Inner Ring.

Available on amazon and in “all good bookshops”.