David Millar is a rare beast. He’s the rider who when busted for drug cheating decided to come clean, use his experience for good and then make a successful comeback to the professional peloton. Now he is telling the story himself in, as he puts it; ‘The Fall and Rise of David Millar’.
I bought this book to take on a beach holiday without too many expectations. Obviously I knew about Millar’s story which I found interesting but I wasn’t sure, part of me feared that Millar might avoid some of the hard truths of the matter, concentrating instead on the his successful comeback. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Millar tackles his past with complete and brutal honesty, he describes his highs and his terrifying lows with equal importance. Much like on the bike, he refuses to spare himself by taking the easy route, instead he delves into his very depths taking the reader on his journey through the professional peloton with what sometimes feels like agonising honesty. From a gifted youngster working to buy his first bike, his arrest and subsequent confession to taking banned substances and finally his return to top flight competition with Jonathan Vaughters and Garmin-Transitions. Millar leaves no aspect of his career alone.
I read this book just over a day, I simply couldn’t put it down. Whatever my opinion of ex-dopers, it left me full of admiration for Millar and what he has achieved. It would be easy to criticise, I’m certain there are some who would suggest this book is merely a guilt ridden catharsis designed to evoke pity in the reader. But I do not believe this to be the case, I think pity is the last thing Millar desires. I think instead that we would do well to recognise the fallibility of the human condition, in a world which is increasingly tainted by the disingenuous, this account and the sentiment behind it is as genuine as they come.