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In search of Robert Millar - Richard Moore

Campervan27Campervan27 Posts: 137
edited September 2011 in Pro race
Just read this and it quite rightly deserves the recognition it gets as its a facinating read. Best Biography I have ever had the pleasure to pick up. If you haven't read it, do so!
Robert Millar is a British cycling god and should have much more prowess than the useless British choose to give him.
A typical situation of the British press again ruining someone that could have given British cycling a Brad, Geraint, David Millar 20 years ago if Millar had been drafted into training cyclists not hounded into the life of a recluse.
A massive thumbs up to Rob wherever he is and thank you to Richard Moore for a facinating factual book.
:D
Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.
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  • Omar LittleOmar Little Posts: 2,040
    Good read and a great rider but it goes without saying that his greatest achievement, which really puts him into the elite of the elite of the bike world, was being a poster on here :D
  • dulldavedulldave Posts: 949
    If you like it then you'll also like Slaying the Badger.

    I wonder how gottheteeshirt2 is getting on with that book he's not writing.
    Scottish and British...and a bit French
  • Thanks for the reply. I have already ordered Slaying the Badger...

    Gothetshirt2 will certainly get my purchase when he writes, "the Book".
    Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.
  • TusherTusher Posts: 2,762
    If A Book by Robert Millar was ever produced..................well, it would be my best Christmas present ever (after the Sindy wedding outfit circa 1969 that is). He's an excellent writer, used to write for (?) Procycling.

    gottheteeshirt2 was responsible for my first interest in pro-cycling. I only wish that he appeared/spoke in public more often.
  • ms_treems_tree Posts: 1,405
    He's also done something in Rouleur (cited in Slaying the badger) and a blog on, I THINK, cyclingnews.com. Always a good read.
    'Google can bring back a hundred thousand answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.'
    Neil Gaiman
  • Yes, I've got a Rouler article on climbing by him that makes interesting reading.
  • thecrofterthecrofter Posts: 734
    Yep, contrast the different reaction from Cavendish's green jersey to Millar's KOTM, it's like the sporting press were embarassed a Brit had done anything in cycling. Or maybe he just wasn't English enough. Similar reaction with Obree and Boardman, hhhmmmm is there a pattern developing do you suppose? Just as well Chris Hoy won three Olympic golds if it was only one they would have ignored him too.
    You've no won the Big Cup since 1902!
  • mrolimroli Posts: 3,622
    @thecrofter - do you REALLY believe that there is some sort of anti-scottish sportsperson bias in the British media? I don't mean this sarcastically or nastily at all, genuinely interested as to whether you think this is the case?

    Hoy is popularly the greatest cycling olympian, Obree always held himself out to be the outsider and as such has gained a lot of media interest, Millar is probably the greatest male British cyclist.

    I think the sporting press is embarassed by cycling generally, rather than by Scots...
  • edhornbyedhornby Posts: 1,780
    GTTS2 wrote a few select articles on the cycling weekly website, a weekly review on the tdf which was interesting

    I would love to buy his book if he ever does go for it

    maybe we should resurrect thhis D&A thread, ask him how he thinks brad will get on in the Vuelta (if that's not poking an old warwound....)
    "I get paid to make other people suffer on my wheel, how good is that"
    --Jens Voight
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 46,776 Lives Here
    I often wonder how much pride or not athletes take in the legacy of their achievement.

    Specifically in this case, how bothered Millar is that he's no longer the only UK winner of a TdF jersey.

    I know Michael Johnson claimed he wasn't fussed about losing his world records because he felt that they "reflected the work he did then" rather than anything now, but I sensed a little hurt pride when it fell.

    It seems De Vlaeminck gets a little prickly when people say Boonen's close to his Roubaix record.
  • inkyfingersinkyfingers Posts: 4,397
    Unless he ever writes a real warts and all autobiography then I think the only person who will ever know what Robert Millar really thinks is Robert Millar.

    I seem to remember him being quite complimentary about Brad Wiggins in one of his pieces for Cycling News during the TdF so suspect he would be pleased for him, but then again I never felt that Millar felt particularly Scottish or British, but this is pure conjecture on my part.

    Great cyclist though, in terms of road achievements by British riders only Simpson and Cavendish are equal to him. I guess that Wiggins is getting close to joining that club as well if he can add a high finish in the Vuelta to his Dauphine win and his 4th at the tour.
    "I have a lovely photo of a Camargue horse but will not post it now" (Frenchfighter - July 2013)
  • Paulie WPaulie W Posts: 1,492
    thecrofter wrote:
    Yep, contrast the different reaction from Cavendish's green jersey to Millar's KOTM, it's like the sporting press were embarassed a Brit had done anything in cycling.

    is this really true? My memory is that there was quite a lot of excitement around Millar's achievements in the media at the time (in cycling terms at least). The High Life was part of the positive reaction - an ITV documentary which I seem to remember went out on primetime.
  • thecrofterthecrofter Posts: 734
    mroli wrote:
    @thecrofter - do you REALLY believe that there is some sort of anti-scottish sportsperson bias in the British media? I don't mean this sarcastically or nastily at all, genuinely interested as to whether you think this is the case?

    Hoy is popularly the greatest cycling olympian, Obree always held himself out to be the outsider and as such has gained a lot of media interest, Millar is probably the greatest male British cyclist.

    I think the sporting press is embarassed by cycling generally, rather than by Scots...
    There are many more examples of Scottish sportsmen and women being overlooked by the media, not just in cycling, than examples of Scots being "over-praised". I'm not necessarily taking the hump about that, it would be slightly unrealistic to expect that English media would give equal billing to Scots any more than they would give equal billing to Germans or French. They're English and proud of their country's achievements just as we are of ours. But please don't patronise us by telling us we get equal billing, we don't, and why should we? And don't try to claim ownership of our best sportsmen as British just because they win something. There are plenty Irish and Welsh feel the same.
    You've no won the Big Cup since 1902!
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    "many more examples" ? You've yet to provide one.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Apart from snatches of cycling on World of Sport - deVlaeminck / Mosers' P-Rx duels are my first cycling memories, but it was Millar's exploits in 83 and 84 that made me realise that riding a bike was a sport worth considering.

    As a contemporary of the cycling scene in Glasgow in the 1980s, I knew quite a few people who raced against him - or should I say were in the same race but only saw the back of him...

    Bear in mind that Millar was pretty well robbed of a Vuelta victory and few recognise his role supported Roche's Giro victory in 1987.

    From what I understand of Millar is that he was very much a loner, single-minded and didn't go out of his way to make friends and rather just let his legs do the talking.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 22,913
    thecrofter wrote:
    mroli wrote:
    @thecrofter - do you REALLY believe that there is some sort of anti-scottish sportsperson bias in the British media? I don't mean this sarcastically or nastily at all, genuinely interested as to whether you think this is the case?

    Hoy is popularly the greatest cycling olympian, Obree always held himself out to be the outsider and as such has gained a lot of media interest, Millar is probably the greatest male British cyclist.

    I think the sporting press is embarassed by cycling generally, rather than by Scots...
    There are many more examples of Scottish sportsmen and women being overlooked by the media, not just in cycling, than examples of Scots being "over-praised". I'm not necessarily taking the hump about that, it would be slightly unrealistic to expect that English media would give equal billing to Scots any more than they would give equal billing to Germans or French. They're English and proud of their country's achievements just as we are of ours. But please don't patronise us by telling us we get equal billing, we don't, and why should we? And don't try to claim ownership of our best sportsmen as British just because they win something. There are plenty Irish and Welsh feel the same.

    Other than Andy Murray, who gets plenty of coverage, who are these great Scottish sportsmen that the so-called English media are ignoring?
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • SalsicciaSalsiccia Posts: 405
    RichN95 wrote:
    thecrofter wrote:
    mroli wrote:
    @thecrofter - do you REALLY believe that there is some sort of anti-scottish sportsperson bias in the British media? I don't mean this sarcastically or nastily at all, genuinely interested as to whether you think this is the case?

    Hoy is popularly the greatest cycling olympian, Obree always held himself out to be the outsider and as such has gained a lot of media interest, Millar is probably the greatest male British cyclist.

    I think the sporting press is embarassed by cycling generally, rather than by Scots...
    There are many more examples of Scottish sportsmen and women being overlooked by the media, not just in cycling, than examples of Scots being "over-praised". I'm not necessarily taking the hump about that, it would be slightly unrealistic to expect that English media would give equal billing to Scots any more than they would give equal billing to Germans or French. They're English and proud of their country's achievements just as we are of ours. But please don't patronise us by telling us we get equal billing, we don't, and why should we? And don't try to claim ownership of our best sportsmen as British just because they win something. There are plenty Irish and Welsh feel the same.

    Other than Andy Murray, who gets plenty of coverage, who are these great Scottish sportsmen that the so-called English media are ignoring?

    Elena Baltacha
    I was only joking when I said
    by rights you should be bludgeoned in your bed
  • thecrofterthecrofter Posts: 734
    "many more examples" ? You've yet to provide one.

    I've yet to be asked to.

    But the classic example, of course, was Jim Watt the official World boxing rankings listed him as British, while at the same time John Conteh was listed as English....

    As I said I'm not really complaining of an anti Scottishness. But it would be impossible to deny a pro-English-ness and as the media is almost exclusivley English it would also be naive to expect otherwise.

    Not complaining, it's just the way it is. Same here.... there will be tons of lesser known English stars that never get a mention in our papers.
    You've no won the Big Cup since 1902!
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    Not only is it possible to deny an English bias I am denying it - John Conteh being listed as English in boxing rankings (how long ago?) is hardly a classic example now is it. I'm half Scottish myself so I don't think I'm being one eyed about it.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • SalsicciaSalsiccia Posts: 405
    Only joking. Millar's achievements being overlooked is more to do with the fact that cycling was a complete non-interest to most sports editors and broadcasters at the time. Obree v. Boardman - Boardman won an Olympic Gold which is the only reason people showed an interest in him, along with the fact that Obree (who I rate as one of my all-time favourite sportsmen) came across (sorry Graeme) as a bit of a loon.

    I would say the interest in Cavendish is because people are now taking cycling seriously as a sport, which I dare say is mainly due to the highly-reported and highly-regarded exploits of a certain Scottish track cyclist.

    Cavendish isn't English either, mind...
    I was only joking when I said
    by rights you should be bludgeoned in your bed
  • thecrofterthecrofter Posts: 734
    RichN95 wrote:
    the so-called English media

    You REALLY think the BBC, The Times, Telegraph, Gaurdian and so on are not Anglo-centric?

    I'd better not tell you about Santa or the Tooth Fairy, then.
    You've no won the Big Cup since 1902!
  • mrolimroli Posts: 3,622
    But I guess the question would be - would those "English" minor sports stars complain about being referred to as English in Scottish papers/not getting paper coverage?

    I genuinely find this interesting and I don't mean to patronise - my housemate at Uni was a Scottish international hockey player and he got a lot of kudos for that at an English uni.

    Tennis is interesting - the top men's and women's players in Britain are both Scots (although Baltacha is "Ukrainian" and Murray a quarter "English" - in the interests of fairness, I will also acknowledge Wiggins is an Australian Belgian and Lennox Lewis is a Jamaican Canadian!). I think Baltacha should get a lot more coverage than she does - but I put that down to her being female, not Scottish.

    What other Scottish sports stars are there that are missing out?
  • danlikesbikesdanlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    For what its worth I liked the book - sure if the book was written by him himself then maybe it would have been completely different. But as a book it gave a glimpse into the life of someone who many years ago as I child I used to watch on TV & still think of as on of the greats of the cycling world.

    If as a person he decides to hide away from the publicity I have no problems with that in fact it just adds to the character of the man.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • thecrofterthecrofter Posts: 734
    is hardly a classic example now is it.

    I would say that's exactly what it is a "classic". The first meaning of the word classic is "of the first or highest quality, class, or rank: a classic piece of work."
    I'm half Scottish myself so I don't think I'm being one eyed about it.

    Is it the good looking half? :lol:

    You're entitled to you opinion, as I am mine. It seems perfectly natural that the media in one country favours the people and news in that same country. That doesn't seem in the least bit controvertial.
    You've no won the Big Cup since 1902!
  • thecrofterthecrofter Posts: 734
    mroli wrote:
    But I guess the question would be - would those "English" minor sports stars complain about being referred to as English in Scottish papers/not getting paper coverage?

    I genuinely find this interesting and I don't mean to patronise - my housemate at Uni was a Scottish international hockey player and he got a lot of kudos for that at an English uni.

    Tennis is interesting - the top men's and women's players in Britain are both Scots (although Baltacha is "Ukrainian" and Murray a quarter "English" - in the interests of fairness, I will also acknowledge Wiggins is an Australian Belgian and Lennox Lewis is a Jamaican Canadian!). I think Baltacha should get a lot more coverage than she does - but I put that down to her being female, not Scottish.

    What other Scottish sports stars are there that are missing out?

    Ah, yes the bigger argument of what nationality actually are you, and then further does it really matter. Baltacha's father is indeed Ukrainian, but she was born in Scotland. Mostly these days it only seems to matter in sports. Here's another hot potato. The last time when England got to the World cup and we didn't(not the way it used to be mind) the PM, Gordon Brown(bit of a tube, admitedly) was asked if he'd be supporting England. And there was a whole debate about his response. I mean why the hell should any of us support England, If England weren't there would the English support France? I don't think so.
    You've no won the Big Cup since 1902!
  • thecrofterthecrofter Posts: 734
    Have we not got a bit off topic here?
    You've no won the Big Cup since 1902!
  • thecrofter wrote:
    Yep, contrast the different reaction from Cavendish's green jersey to Millar's KOTM, it's like the sporting press were embarassed a Brit had done anything in cycling. Or maybe he just wasn't English enough. Similar reaction with Obree and Boardman, hhhmmmm is there a pattern developing do you suppose? Just as well Chris Hoy won three Olympic golds if it was only one they would have ignored him too.

    This is b0ll0cks really. As others have said, the difference between the media reaction to Millar in 1984 and Cavendish in 2011 is that cycling gets much more coverage nowadays, and that this in itself is due at least partly to the considerable interest and coverage of (Scottish) Hoy's three gold medals. If it were due to a pro-English anti-Scottish media agenda, then you'd expect that Malcolm Elliot and Sean Yates would have got far more media attention than Robert Millar back in the day, or that Bradley Wiggins would have got far more coverage than Chris Hoy in 2008. Hoy's three golds got far more attention that Cavendish's (arguably more impressive) four Tour stage wins the month before. And (as has been pointed out) Cavendish isn't even English anyway.
  • (Not that I think it's inconceivable that the English media would give more coverage to an English sportsman's success than that of a Scot, I just don't think this is an example of it)
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 22,913
    thecrofter wrote:
    RichN95 wrote:
    the so-called English media

    You REALLY think the BBC, The Times, Telegraph, Gaurdian and so on are not Anglo-centric?

    I'd better not tell you about Santa or the Tooth Fairy, then.


    If they're 'Anglo-Centric', it's because England is ten times the size of Scotland. So there's more news. I bet the Scottish media have more Glasgow news than Inverness news.

    You seem to have some notion of an English media with no Scottish, Irish or Welsh people working there at all.

    It's no wonder you end up deep frying everything, the chips are all stuck on your shoulders.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • Full MerckxFull Merckx Posts: 143
    edited August 2011
    It's no wonder you end up deep frying everything, the chips are all stuck on your shoulders.

    That was an inflammatory and offensive comment, perhaps this thread has now reached it's logical conclusion.
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