Top positive review
42 people found this helpful
on 4 June 2007
Richard Moore's In search of Robert Millar finally provides the myriad of Cycling fans with something that they never thought they would see; a whole book dedicated to Britain's greatest and most successful cyclist. Millar himself stated once that he had no intention of writing such a work so many assumed it would never be available; thankfully Moore does not disappoint.
He takes us through the chronology of Millar's career from his birth and life in Glasgow, to national and international cycling sensation, through to his retirement and his subsequent and complete exit from public scrutiny to being a private person with a right to lead a life free from any sort of interference, whether it be from prying journalists, the cycling world at large or his many thousands of supporters and fans who recognised in Millar an impossible dream come true, mostly an awe and simply people who would have (and indeed do) refer to him as a (their) hero.
In his introduction the author states that one of his aims is to discover Millar the person rather than just Millar the cyclist. In part he succeeds. His interviews with many of the cyclist's peers and friends give further insight into what made him a great, generous and `special' cyclist. He also reveals the more public taciturn, monosyllabic Millar as so often reported by outsiders and or certain journalists. Perhaps Moore labours too extensively on this area. Millar, as is described, had his own way of doing things and part of that was letting his legs do the talking by winning races, or coming close, and letting the public enjoy the sport of cycle racing; he was the one after all who was doing the suffering, in part for money and winning, and in part to allow the lovers of the sport to witness real spectacle. This area, it has to be said, is not unaddressed, and Millar's life and travails are covered in probably just the right amount of depth and detail. In this day of celebrity "this and that" it is refreshing to read again about the exploits and successes of a man for whom celebrity was an unfortunate price that came along with being an exceptionally gifted an successful athlete who managed to have a career in the sport that lasted 15 great years at the highest level. Lets us applaud Robert Millar one final time when we have finished our time down memory lane (in the reading of this book) for his talent, the enjoyment he gave the watching spectators of probably the world's most demanding sport and for his honesty in the "adversity of celebrity".
One final note. Moore mentioned Lucien Van Impe as being Dutch on more than one occasion. I have every reason to believe that he was Belgian. I hope that was the only slight error (possibly editorial) in a "most recommendable" work. Bravo.