Wednesday 8 April 2015

10 soundbites from......David Millar

I caught up with David Millar at the recent Bike Expo in Manchester. I must say, having gotten used to seeing him in cycle racing kit over the course of the last twelve years it was quite refreshing to see him in civvies. And he looked quite stylish at that. Since rounding off his 18-year professional racing career last October he's been pretty busy, writing a book, designing a new clothing line, and becoming a Maserati ambassador for the Tour of Yorkshire.

He managed to find a few minutes to chat to me for before he did his Questions & Answers session with Rob Hayles on the stage. Here are a few quotes from my interview with David Millar and when he was on the stage with Rob Hayles.

"When I stopped racing it didn’t feel as though I’d stopped because I had 3 months of having operations and having things done with my hands after crashing during the Tour of Spain.
We do thrash ourselves a fair bit over our careers and you only really realise it when you stop. I am quite shocked to know I do this much damage to myself.
I was quite surprised to be asked to represent the Cyclistes Professionelles Associes (CPA) at the extreme weather protocol meetings. I never ever thought I’d be doing stuff with the union that’s for sure. I used to think, "gee shoot me in the head".

I am based in Girona so I see some of my friends there like Ryder Hesjedal and Dan Martin. I will definitely hook up with them to ride on their recovery days. I won’t join them on their training days, that’s for sure!
We had a great year when Brad (Wiggins) was with us (in Garmin) in 2009. It was a bit complicated the way he left, but we had great times when we were racing together. He was always very serious and very professional.

The modern British cyclist is different to the cyclists of my generation or before. We had to ship out to France, Spain, Italy or Belgium and learn the language. Now you can become a pro and live in Essex, and never have left!
At my first Tour de France in 2000 racing for Cofidis, people thought we were at the vanguard of technology but it was far from that. I had just one bike to race and train with and bought my wheels and my handle bars.
I would have like to have ridden for team Sky, but with zero tolerance it was impossible. I was very lucky for the final part of my career to be on a team that I loved.
[Following the death of Wouter Weylandt in the 2011 Giro d'Italia] Wearing the pink jersey was something I’d always dreamt of doing. And there I was trying on the pink jersey and the whole place had fallen to pieces. The next morning I realised I had to take control and lead the peloton and it was such a very sad day.  I was quite proud that I was given that responsibility.
I had originally wanted to go to art college, but now with my new clothing line I have designed I have ended up doing what I always wanted to do I suppose." 
My interview with David Millar can be found in the latest Cycling Weekly magazine



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