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Veteran racer takes to Sharp Europe's feed to talk to fans...

Veteran Tour de France rider David Millar will be taking over the Twitter feed of sponsor Sharp Europe Tuesday afternoon to host a natter with fans.

Millar will be on the @Sharp_Europe twitter feed between 4pm and 4:30pm on Tuesday March 11. All you have to do is tweet your question with the hashtag #MillarTime, and he will try and answer as many as possible.

To make it even easier for you, you can follow and join the chat right here on road.cc:

Two subjects that are bound to come up are doping and cycling technology.

Millar famously confessed in 2004 to using EPO when he won the 2003 world time trial championship. He served a two-year suspension and returned as an outspoken crusader against doping.

In 2008 he joined the team that is now Garmin-Sharp, becoming a part-owner of the team in order to emphasise its anti-drugs stance.

In a recent interview with Humans Invent, Millar said that he had always seen technology as a way for clean riders to combat those who are doping.

He told Tom Southam: “It was having this view that helped me gain so many early successes in time trials against guys who had the physical advantage from doping. The majority of other pros (and even my team management) didn’t care about their position, wheels, gearing, skinsuits, helmets, shoe-covers: I did. At times I would buy my own equipment and risk the wrath of the team management and sponsors.”

The classic example is his team’s targeting of team time trials as a type of race where doping teams were vulnerable. Jonathan Vaughters, manager of team Garmin Sharp said: “Any high speed event allows aerodynamics to benefit the rider more than doping. In low speed disciplines, like climbing, that’s more difficult. But in the team time trial, overcoming doping, by use of faster materials and better positioning, is possible. You just have to put in the time in the wind tunnel.”

And it’s not just about aerodynamics, but other aspects of race preparation. Millar said: “We were renegades when we arrived in 2008, we also didn’t mind being different and being laughed at. We wore ice-vests before the Giro d’Italia TTT that we won (in 2008). We may have been laughed at when we rolled up to the start line in our vests, but nobody laughed when we won.”

This will be Millar’s last season as professional cyclist, as he brings to a close an 18-year professional career. A lot has changed in that time, but Millar thinks it’s ultimately been positive change.

He said: “Cycling is a bonkers sport, it got a bit too mad the last twenty years, but we’re back to it being the right sort of mad.”

Want to know exactly what’s the right sort of mad? Follow #MillarTime from 4pm tomorrow, Tuesday March 11.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

14 comments

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Simmo72 [583 posts] 1 year ago
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quality photo, looks like he's jumped on the bike but forgot to attach the saddle.

Love a bit of Dm insight, hope he stays in the sport once he retires from racing.

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notfastenough [3661 posts] 1 year ago
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Simmo72 wrote:

quality photo, looks like he's jumped on the bike but forgot to attach the saddle.

 21

the article wrote:

Any high speed event allows aerodynamics to benefit the rider more than doping. In low speed disciplines, like climbing, that’s more difficult. But in the team time trial, overcoming doping, by use of faster materials and better positioning, is possible. You just have to put in the time in the wind tunnel.

Interesting - not heard this expressed in such a way before. Makes sense I suppose, given the massive increases in power required to generate a small increase in speed at the top end.

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Leviathan [1773 posts] 1 year ago
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How much money did you make out of your tell-all autobiography?

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Colin Peyresourde [1636 posts] 1 year ago
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notfastenough wrote:
Simmo72 wrote:

quality photo, looks like he's jumped on the bike but forgot to attach the saddle.

 21

the article wrote:

Any high speed event allows aerodynamics to benefit the rider more than doping. In low speed disciplines, like climbing, that’s more difficult. But in the team time trial, overcoming doping, by use of faster materials and better positioning, is possible. You just have to put in the time in the wind tunnel.

Interesting - not heard this expressed in such a way before. Makes sense I suppose, given the massive increases in power required to generate a small increase in speed at the top end.

How about doping and aerodynamics? It's not exactly an either/or Vaughters.

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stenmeister [215 posts] 1 year ago
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bikeboy76 wrote:

How much money did you make out of your tell-all autobiography?

not as much as Lance for his tell nothing, make it up, fairy tale autobiography  4

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Tony Farrelly [2856 posts] 1 year ago
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Wonder when he's going to start using the #MillarTime hashtag on his answers?  39

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Bobbinogs [125 posts] 1 year ago
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Yepp, here's a question Dave. Why not announce your retirement at the end of a season like every other bloody pro rather than turning it into a year long Dave Millar testimonial tour?

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fukawitribe [1430 posts] 1 year ago
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Bobbinogs wrote:

Yepp, here's a question Dave. Why not announce your retirement at the end of a season like every other bloody pro rather than turning it into a year long Dave Millar testimonial tour?

It's early to announce it, sure, but if you think 'every other bloody pro' does it at the end of the year you're in for a shock. I think some of the reasons why aren't particularly to fathom but, so what ?

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bikerdavecycling [73 posts] 1 year ago
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Nothing wrong with him announcing retirement when he did. Allows him opportunity to raise money for charity via the one off shoes Fizik have made for him.

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stenmeister [215 posts] 1 year ago
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I don't think there's any rule that says when you have to announce your retirement. Jens Voigt pretty much said that this would be his last year as well.

I like Millar and as a resident of Glasgow, it's good to know that I'll be able to see him race for the last time in the Commonwealth Games.

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notfastenough [3661 posts] 1 year ago
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The sport will be poorer for the loss of Millar and Jens. I wouldn't say that about every other older retiring pro.

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Bobbinogs [125 posts] 1 year ago
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bikerdavecycling wrote:

Nothing wrong with him announcing retirement when he did. Allows him opportunity to raise money for charity via the one off shoes Fizik have made for him.

...and provides a fantastic opportunity for some free advertising for Fizik (they now get their products featured in most mags for every race David is in) and Dave no doubt gets a nice kickback for being so loyal to a sponsor. Everybody's happy, eh!

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allez neg [497 posts] 1 year ago
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I see no harm in Millar using the year as a farewell tour.

Perhaps the team and pro peloton will give him a few opportunities to really celebrate his last year - I'm sure he won't be gifted any wins, but maybe some gesture of respect.

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notfastenough [3661 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Bobbinogs wrote:
bikerdavecycling wrote:

Nothing wrong with him announcing retirement when he did. Allows him opportunity to raise money for charity via the one off shoes Fizik have made for him.

...and provides a fantastic opportunity for some free advertising for Fizik (they now get their products featured in most mags for every race David is in) and Dave no doubt gets a nice kickback for being so loyal to a sponsor. Everybody's happy, eh!

Sure, no reason why they shouldn't get some exposure for this. Or is there a rule that sponsors can't receive a bit of media coverage for their funding of the sport?!