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.
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