Monday, 25 June 2012

Racing Through the Dark: The fall and rise of David Millar

Racing Through the Dark: The Fall and Rise of David MillarRacing Through the Dark: The Fall and Rise of David Millar by David Millar
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A well-written inside view of doping culture in professional cycling. Also, the book provides a look into the life and mindset of a professional athlete. Millar admits:

[B]eing a professional athlete's partner or relative is not easy because we live very selfish, goal-oriented lives.

Although we're often at home, we are rarely actually there,
our heads being wrapped up in whatever our next sporting objective may be. At times the self-absorption is taken to the point of obsession. Life boils down to the cycle of racing, training, eating, resting, dieting.

And if one of those functions isn't going well, the subsequent
neurosis leads to misery. The smallest issues can become the most important things in life and reality slips away.

As revealing as the book is, I can help but feel that it's being told with some restraint. But this book isn't a sensationalist finger-pointing tell-all. David Millar wants to change the culture of sport by sharing his personal descent and survival.

I would highly recommend this book for sports fans, even those who "don't like to read". Even at nearly 350 pages, the narrative flows quickly, the structure is clear, and the story is compelling.

With renewed doping accusations swirling around Lance Armstrong and the Tour de France starting this week, Racing Through the Dark is compulsory pre-race reading.

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