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

David Millar
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (334 customer reviews)
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Book Description

28 Jun 2012
By his eighteenth birthday David Millar was living and racing in France, sleeping in rented rooms, tipped to be the next English-speaking Tour winner. A year later he'd realised the dream and signed a professional contract. He perhaps lived the high life a little too enthusiastically - he broke his heel in a fall from a roof after too much drink, and before long the pressure to succeed had tipped over into doping. 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.

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Racing Through the Dark: The Fall and Rise of David Millar + The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs + Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong
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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (28 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409120384
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409120384
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (334 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Millar is never less than candid in a memoir that is part confessional, part catharsis. (THE SCOTSMAN 2012-06-30)

His description of that agonising 2010 mountain stage, during which he scoured the depths of his soul while falling helplessly behind the rest of the field, deserves to stand among the great first-person accounts of sporting experience. (Richard Williams THE GUARDIAN 2012-07-07)

His career almost destroyed by a doping scandal in 2004, the cycling champion faces his demons in this eloquent and revelatory memoir. Millar's gutsy slog to restore his reputation is inspirational. (THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH SEVEN Magazine 2012-08-05)

This is the superbly narrated story of one man's evolution from talented ingenue to disillusioned doper and back again... one of the very best snapshots of professional cycling in the noughties. (OUTDOOR FITNESS 2012-12-25)

Highly articulate, Millar has written a courageously combative book that both exposes the conditions that create drug cheating and explains how his sport has to confront those conditions if it is to break from this most murky of pasts. (Mark Perryman PHILOSOPHY FOOTBALL 2012-11-26)

The thoughtful British doper-turned-campaigner delivers an eloquent, highly rated memoir about life in troubled peloton. (Simon Usborne THE INDEPENDENT)

Book Description

The SUNDAY TIMES bestselling memoir from the Tour de France cyclist who lifts the lid on his drug use and return to sport.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving tale 13 Aug 2011
By Sussan
Format:Hardcover
This book encompases the part of sport that could not easily be explained or described in any other way than the way it has been portrayed in this book.

It has needed the personal and very touching, emotional experience of the author, to give this excellent description of the turmoil and excitment that is, for most of us, the 'Tour de France'. My question over the years of being a fanatic through the televised programmes, has been 'how do they do it?' Now I know!

However, it is not only the 'Tour de France' that is featured in this book, it is the capture of the lives and times of the cyclists and the surrounding regions in which they have been part of a culture that has been integrated into this wonderfully moving tale of woe, heartbreak and some laughter.

I could not read it quickly enough, I now want to stand on the side of the road at the Madeleine, preferably watching the riders, because it now means something, as it has to so many. Read this book, it is wonderful.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
We heard David Millar speak at the Hay Festival about the drug culture in professional cycling, his own descent into use of performance enhancing drugs and his subsequent championing of the battle against drug use as he reentered top class racing. He was eloquent then. His book, in collaboration with Jeremy Whittle, is compelling. It is not very often that you hear and read an eloquent and intelligent sportsman on a subject of general interest, rather than their own glory.
David's claim that he resisted the ubiquitous drug culture of the professional cycling world when he joined the French teams in the 1990's is convincing. He describes the highs of a very talented non French biker and the dynamics and friendships and rivalries within the Confidis racing team. In 1999 he was in the maillot jaune for three days in the Tour and was joshing with Lance Armstrong, a sound guy for whom he clearly had immense respect, but not Marco Pantani who was cold. The inside view of the great riders of the last 10 years is fascinating.
On gaining his fame he certainly lived the high life in Biarritz. In 2001 David was leader of the Confidis team. Was it a combination of the high life, the incredible demands on a professional cyclist and the break up with his girlfriend which undermined his declared "clean" status? Was it the blowing up on the Dauphine Libere prelude to the Tour that year, or the complete disaster experienced by the Confidis team's performance in the tour and Millar's withdrawal from the race? The pressure was on him from his team and his colleagues to "prepare properly"?.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sports book of the year? 21 Jun 2011
By William
Format:Hardcover
I had this pre-ordered for nearly two years, but it has been well worth the wait. Largely self-authored, according to what I have read, this is a beautifully written account by someone who really does have a story to tell. It reveals more about the doping era in pro-cycling than any number of enquiries or investigations could ever achieve. It also puts Millar's own misdemeanour into clear perspective. One of Britain's all-time greats, deserving of the status of 'legend' when he eventually retires, Millar may, with this book, have produced the greatest legacy of his career. Anything that beats it to the 2011 William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award would have to be truly exceptional.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 5 Dec 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Apparently David Millar wrote most of this book himself and it gains authenticity for that. I was surprised that I ended up finding him such a sympathetic character, obviously knowing his history of drug cheating, but his revelations about the culture of road cycling, about the sheer matter-of-fact nature of doping and the way he has used his experiences as a positive to campaign for change were inspiring.
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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Painfully honest 10 Jun 2011
By Big Jim TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've seen David Millar interviewed on TV many times and he comes across as a very decent, honest if slightly humourless and intense man. This has not always been the case as he states himself, being honest about previous dishonesty should have been cathartic but he may not have found writing this enthralling and important book as cathartic as it might have been but if it serves to inject (pun intended) some truth and self examination into big time pro cycling then it will have done him and the sport a huge favour. I just wonder though if he is being a bit naive or indulging in a bit of wishful thinking at least in his belief that most (surely not all) riders in the forthcoming tour de France will ride "clean". He hopes so,surely everyone with any interest in the sport hopes so, but after years of proven and suspected drug cheating there will be a cloud cast over the race that will take some shifting.

Mind you, he is not convinced that the drugs he took actually helped him, so he may be right. Mayve the drugs don't work. Despite having said above that he comes across as a bit humourless when interviewed there are numerous ironic and wittily mischevious moments recorded in this book so it is not all doom and gloom by any means.

I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in sport not just cycling, or indeed anyone interested in the human condition that drives men and woment close to and sometimes over the edge of competitiveness. I will be very surprised if this book doesn't make it onto the shortlist for the next sports or even biography book prize. It is that good.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
Great read very honest
Published 2 days ago by anthony robertson
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow !
Gripping read , well written and thoroughly enjoyable .
Published 2 days ago by Stephen Lewis
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book
Candid, open and interesting.
Published 5 days ago by paj
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
Fascinating read, couldn't put it down. So glad David made it back!
Hope to read a next instalment sometimes soon.
Published 6 days ago by Stephen Gray
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great, Thanks!
Published 7 days ago by JB
4.0 out of 5 stars well worth reading
Moving story of a great cyclist. I love his contributions to telly cycling shows: he is both knowledgeable and succinct. He is worth listening to: he is worth reading. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant story and well written
A great well written honest story of David's experience in the pro peloton

He has earned my respect and admiration with what he has been through and subsequently... Read more
Published 12 days ago by Scott Osborn
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing story. well worth reading even if you are not into cycling.
Published 15 days ago by Julie Chenery
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
love this book, what an insight into the world of pro cycling
Published 19 days ago by Andy Sheldon
5.0 out of 5 stars Well i'm glad I did
I bought this with a little trepidation. David Millar, pro cyclist and doper. Did I really want to read this? Well i'm glad I did. Read more
Published 25 days ago by A Genealogist
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