David Millar’s season concluded by taking the whole range of medals – and gaining plenty of air miles in the process.
Within three weeks, the Scot dashed from world championship silver in Australia to take Commonwealth gold and bronze in Dehi before finishing his year by taking the field apart in the Chrono Des Nations time-trial last Sunday.
However, though the Commonwealth Games finished last Wednesday, memories of his first event in a Scottish jersey will stay with David Millar.
“It meant a lot more than I thought it would. I underestimated how the passion would affect me. I’m incredibly proud, and pleased I could give something back to Scotland,” he said.
“When I was younger, I thought I was a rockstar and regret not going to the Games. So I was able to appreciate it all the more.”
“It was also quite weird, hanging out with
Paralympians, gymnasts and rugby players. It was odd in a new way – and I
“Many of us spend all season being so professional, when for many of the
guys just being here is their ultimate sporting accomplishment. It was
enormously gratifying,” the 33 year old continued.
“So many didn’t turn up, but to have me and Mark [Cavendish] at the Commonwealths was great. It’s so easy for stars become wankers. It gave me a great amount of pleasure, it made me realise that a lot of pros have forgotten their roots.”
“It doesn’t come down to salaries, ego, or which team has the nicest bus. Everyone is sat together in their tracksuits,” he added.
While Millar won the time-trial by 55 seconds to closest rival Alex Dowsett, his aggressive performance in the road race, netting bronze, was the source of greater pride.
“It went exactly how we’d planned in the meeting. Ross [Creber], James [McCallum] and Davie [Lines] barely left my side for the first half, then we had Andy [Fenn] and Evan [Oliphant] to follow the breaks.”
“I’m immensely impressed and proud; the time-trial was a more personal experience, this was a much bigger sense of achievement.”
Cav: humility in high humidity
Millar also paid tribute to Mark Cavendish’s humility, as the Isle of Man rider went to the Games, despite several other high-profile withdrawals and got stuck in, even driving the team car and helping teammate Andrew Roche for the Isle of Man during the time-trial.
“I was particularly impressed with Cav’s maturity in realising how important they are to us. Normally that’s the sort of thing you realise at my age,” he joked.
“I really enjoyed spending time with Mark this year – I’d like to help him win the world championships in Copenhagen,” Millar added.
As for improving on his time-trial silver in Denmark? “Of course I’d like to podium in the time-trial, though I feel that the course in Melbourne was perfect for me.”
See this week’s Cycling Weekly for more Millar’s thoughts on challenging for Tour de France time-trials and his Chrono des Nations victory.
Cycling Weekly subscription: The perfect Christmas gift
Millar wins Commonwealth Games time-trial
Davis wins battle to tactical wits to net Commonwealth gold
Millar and Dowsett win Chrono des Nations