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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 (298 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 (298 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,830 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
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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48 of 51 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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7 of 7 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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7 of 7 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, compelling read 12 Oct 2011
Format:Hardcover
I have to confess that I'd been a little sniffy about David Millar since his doping scandal. Plus, I don't think he interviews very well on the TV - a slightly odd character. But this book is a complete revelation. The book goes into huge detail about his early life and what led to his downfall. For someone like me who loves cycling, it is just fascinating to read all about one horrible day in the Tour in 2010 when he nearly gave up - something that would be covered in seconds on the TV, but is recounted in amazing and fascinating detail in this book.

I used to feel that David Millar should have been made an example of, and banned for life - I absolutely don't believe that now. I know it's easy to say, but he's not like a stupid Ricco or a denier like Landis and Virenque - he confessed when he was arrested and rebuilt himself painfully.

This is a no-holds barred account of his downfall and his rise back to a fulfilling life, and is simply a superb read for any cycling fan. Well done, Dave !
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RESPECT 15 Nov 2011
By Bobcat
Format:Hardcover
I've always loved cycling as a recreational hobby. I've also enjoyed watching the pro racing when I can, and when it gets on TV - which is very rare in the UK - thankfully getting better now with ITV4 and Eurosport.

I am also a keen rugby afficiando, football too, in fact any sport really. I have to say this is one of the best sports autobiogs I have ever read.

It fits perfectly on 2 levels - firstly, the mind of the author. Secondly, the workings of the sport - whilst I knew that cycling was far more popular on the continent than it is in the UK, I don't think I realised just how big it is in terms of sponsorship investment, and the implied perils and pressures that go with that to get results.

And the salaries too - almost premiership football levels!!!

Hats of to David Millar. Will never be as famous as Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish etc but he is right up there with them in terms of ability and guts.

And he can't ride in the Olympics after all that?

Shame on the BOC. If ever they need a team captain / unselfish rider he is the man. He did the crime, he owned up when many others didn't, he served the time and practically went bankrupt over it too.

We've all messed up at times - that's life.

One word sums it all up,

RESPECT
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
Wow what a book. Honest (as far as you can tell from an ex doper) and leaves you wanting to read the next chaper. Read more
Published 2 days ago by N
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Dave Millar is an open book a truly honest and intriguing account of his career from dark to light.
Brilliant
Published 3 days ago by Dai Rees
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent personal account of a very difficult period in David's...
Really enjoyed this book. Anyone who has enjoyed Tyler Hamilton's book will love this one too. David comes across as a tortured cyclist constantly wrestling with his conscience. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Lin Dabnor
5.0 out of 5 stars Redemption
Fantastic insight into the world of procycling. David Millar describes in great detail the troubles faced during the dark days of cycling.
Published 11 days ago by Mr. James Francey
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book
Really honest and good insight to the professional cycling world many of us dream of but so few get to join.
Published 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
A well written and compelling story. A look inside the shady world of sporting drug culture. Some interesting views on the movers and shakers in the nineties and noughties peloton.
Published 20 days ago by Gaynor
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Really good account of life in the peloton in the late 90s and noughties. Great human story as well. D
Published 26 days ago by Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars honest and enlightening book
Really enjoyed this book. David Millar writes very honestly and in great detail about his fall from grace and how he has responded and come back a better and stronger person. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful
Just finished this book. Found it hard to put down once started it gives you an insight into why & how doping in not only this sport but others goes on.
Published 1 month ago by Simon the great
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest and inspirational
It was a while ago that I read this book, however I recall it was quite a page turner. I felt it was a story told with complete honesty, nothing held back. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mrs Janet M Beardmore
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