Sunday, July 1, 2012

Coming Clean and Coming Back

In this arrestingly candid memoir, which he wrote himself, world-class cyclist, Tour de France stage winner, and time trial specialist David Millar offers a vivid portrait of his life in professional cycling—including his soul-searing detour into performance-enhancing drugs, dramatic arrest and two-year ban, and his ultimate decision to return to the sport he loves to race clean.

As a young Scottish expat living in Hong Kong with his father after his parents’ divorce, Millar fell in love with mountain biking and BMX. Two wise local cyclists took him under their wings, encouraging him in the direction of road racing. Millar proved a ready convert and soon fell in love with the notion of becoming a pro cyclist one day. Racing Through the Dark offers the winning account of his climb through the ranks—first as an amateur and then as a pro, riding for the French team Cofidis.

From the moment Millar turned pro, he began to see glimmers of the great unspoken measures that many—maybe most—of the other pros were taking in order to race at the very tops of their games…and beyond. For a long time, Millar felt that he was immune from temptation, and that he could win clean. But the ugly pervasiveness of performance-enhancing drugs and the seemingly universal attitude that condoned it began to corrode his willpower. Racing Through the Dark details his eventual reliance on banned drugs, his subsequent arrest and two-year ban from cycling, and his remarkable comeback as a very vocal, clean cyclist who is now doing his utmost to keep performance-enhancing drugs out of the sport he so loves.
Filled with thrilling descriptions of the world’s most spectacular courses, Racing Through the Dark also captures the pure joy of cycling and includes some of the most vivid depictions of racing ever written by a true insider.

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