Racing Through the Dark
Racing Through the Dark
Crash. Burn. Coming Clean. Coming Back.
By David Millar
Touchstone, Hardcover, 9781451682687, 368pp.
Publication Date: June 26, 2012
"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, his dramatic arrest and two-year ban, and his ultimate decision to return to the sport he loves to race clean in this arrestingly candid memoir, which he wrote himself.
As a young Scottish expat living in Hong Kong with his father after his parents divorce, Millar showed early promise with mountain biking and BMX. Two wise local cyclists took him under their wings, encouraging him to concentrate on road racing. Millar proved a ready convert. "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. Among his early triumphs were several stage wins in the Tour de France.
From the moment Millar turned pro, he began to see hints of the unethical measures that many maybe most of the other pros were taking in order to race at the very tops of their games . . . and beyond. At first, he felt that he was immune to temptation, 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 capitulation, his subsequent arrest and two-year ban from cycling, and his remarkable comeback as a 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 "captures the pure joy of cycling and includes some of the most vivid accounts of racing ever written by a true insider.
“World-class cyclist Millar examines his tarnished quest to the top of his sport in his stunning memoir… Anyone interested in the grueling world of the men in professional cycling ought to read this candid, courageous book of Millar’s journey from regret to redemption.”
“Millar unflinchingly lays bare his story, from his personal struggles to deal with his success to his path to drugs to his dark, post-arrest days to his Phoenix-like return to cycling. At the end of Millar’s memoir comes redemption through his humbling return as a clean rider to the sport he loves and through becoming a vocal proponent of strong anti-doping measures.”
“Engagingly straightforward recollections of a champion athlete who succumbed to the dark side of illegal performance enhancement…(Millar’s) forthright tone makes his downfall seem relatable...Will appeal to cycling enthusiasts and readers who seek an honest explanation of the scandals sullying the sport."
“His tale—bizarrely—has become just about the most inspiring in all of cycling, perhaps any sport. If you want to find out how cyclists dope, it's here; if you want to discover why they do it, there has never been a more vivid account. But the defining achievement of RACING THROUGH THE DARK is that it makes you believe in cycling again.”
“One of the great first-person accounts of sporting experience...Laceratingly honest, detailing every twist in the argument by which he convinced himself to take a step he had previously considered unthinkable. Anyone seeking to understand the motivation of a drug cheat, or wondering why such a man should be allowed back into his sport will find their curiosity satisfied here.”
“Unbeatable as a snapshot of the professional peloton, its agonies and ecstasies...Emotional yet in no way overwrought, Millar's memoirs read like a parable more than a manifesto. Essential reading for all young riders as well as fans.”
"The greatest strength of this plainly but compellingly told story is that it doesn't shock. Millar is searingly honest about his own failings and neuroses but his book is intelligent, subtle, nuanced, not flowery or overly descriptive —and it is all the more powerful for it. This will go down as one of the great sporting autobiographies.”
“A sporting masterpiece, a timeless snapshot of a sportsman plumbing the depths and miraculously bouncing back both as a rider and a man.”
“The story of [Millar's] fall from grace is gripping.”
“An incredibly personal, moving and compelling story.”