In Search of Robert Millar: Unravelling the Mystery Surrounding Britain’s Most Successful Tour de France Cyclist

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The compelling story of Britain’s best-ever cyclist – one of the most enigmatic, complex and contradictory athletes in any sport – and the unravelling of the puzzle surrounding his sudden and dramatic disappearance.

Cyclist Robert Millar came from one of Europe’s most industrialised cities, Glasgow, to excel in the most unlikely terrain – over the high mountain passes of the Pyrenees and the Alps. He was crowned King of the Mountains during the 1984 Tour de France and remains the only ever Briton to finish on the podium of the world’s toughest race.

In attitude and appearance he was unconventional – the malnourished-looking young Scot with the tiny stud in his ear who could be prickly, irascible and unapproachable – but to many followers he was the epitome of cool. Flying the flag for British cycling, this one-off original became a cult hero.

In Search of Robert Millar will follow the career of this other-worldly character, from his tough childhood on the streets of Glasgow in the 1960s to his move to France and success in the world’s most brutal and unforgiving races, including the controversy surrounding his positive drugs test and his enforced retirement from the sport at the age of 36.

It examines what set Millar apart from all other British cyclists who tried, and failed, to make an impact in this most European of sports, describing his single-mindedness, his eccentricity and the humour and intelligence that emerged only towards the end of his career.

It also proffers explanations for his subsequent disappearance, which repeated a familiar pattern: he vanished from Glasgow and never returned; he left his wife and son and his adopted country, France. Now, it appears, he has turned his back on cycling (amid rumours that he had undergone a sex-change operation).

Through interviews with Millar’s friends, acquaintances, cycling colleagues and ex-classmates, author Richard Moore helps to unravel the mystery of this maverick Scotsman, arguably one of the greatest enigmas in a sport full of remarkable characters.

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About the author

Richard Moore is a freelance journalist who has written on sport, art and literature, contributing to the Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, Herald, Guardian and Sunday Times. He was a member of the Scotland team in the Prutour, the nine-day cycling tour of Britain, and represented Scotland in the 1998 Commonwealth Games.

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Additional Information

Publisher
HarperCollins UK
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Published on
Sep 4, 2008
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9780007283880
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Sports
Sports & Recreation / Cycling
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Richard Moore
Fully updated to include the extraordinary scenes at London 2012, where Hoy won two more gold medals to bring his total to six and overtake Sir Steve Redgrave, this is the story of Britain's greatest ever Olympian.

Chris Hoy has been instrumental in British track cycling's remarkable transformation from also-rans to world superpower. Now, having rewritten the record books as Olympic champion in four different cycling disciplines, and with six gold medals, Hoy has become a household
name and established himself in the pantheon of sporting greats.

This is a fly-on-the-wall account of Hoy and his team as he prepared for the Beijing Olympics, where he became the first Briton in a century to win three gold medals in a single Games, and it has now been fully updated to include the extraordinary scenes at London 2012, where Hoy won two more gold medals, to bring his total to six and overtake Sir Steve Redgrave as Britain's greatest ever Olympian.

The story begins with Hoy's introduction to cycling as a BMX racer and his progression to Olympic champion, and explains the origins and evolution of Britain's world-beating team. It includes a bizarre visit to the world's highest velodrome in Bolivia and a spellbinding journey from the razzmatazz of the
European six-day circuit to the craziness of the Japanese keirin races.

Award-winning writer Richard Moore tracks Hoy throughout a season in the saddle, explores his motivations and mentors from a young age, and provides an unblemished insight into the mind of a champion and the largely unknown world of track cycling. It's a story that is fully updated with the remarkable events in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012, two successive Olympic Games that were dominated by Hoy and the British track cycling team.

Richard Moore
The 1988 Seoul Olympics played host to what has been described by some as the dirtiest race of all time, by others as the greatest. The final of the men's 100 metres at those Olympics is certainly the most infamous in the history of athletics, and more indelibly etched into the consciousness of the sport, the Olympics, and a global audience of millions, than any other athletics event before or since.

Ben Johnson's world-record time of 9.79 seconds – as thrilling as it was – was the beginning rather than the end of the story. Following the race, Johnson tested positive, news that generated as many – if not more – shockwaves as his fastest ever run. He was stripped of the title, Lewis was awarded the gold medal, Linford Christie the silver and Calvin Smith the bronze.

More than two decades on, the story still hadn't ended. In 1999 Lewis was named Sportsman of the Century by the IOC, and Olympian of the Century by Sports Illustrated. Yet his reputation was damaged by revelations that he too used performance-enhancing drugs, and tested positive prior to the Seoul Olympics. Christie also tested positive in Seoul but his explanation, that the banned substance had been in ginseng tea, was accepted. Smith, now a lecturer in English literature at a Florida university, was the only athlete in the top five whose reputation remains unblemished – the others all tested positive at some stage in their careers.

Containing remarkable new revelations, this book uses witness interviews - with Johnson, Lewis and Smith among others - to reconstruct the build-up to the race, the race itself, and the fallout when news of Johnson's positive test broke and he was forced into hiding. It also examines the rivalry of the two favourites going into it, and puts the race in a historical context, examining its continuing relevance on the sport today, where every new record elicits scepticism.
Richard Moore
It has become almost de rigueur in contemporary psychoanalysis to cite Freud's positivism-especially his commitment to an objective reality that can be accessed through memory and interpretation-as a continuing source of weakness in bringing the field into the postmodern era. But is it so simple to move beyond Freud and objectivism in general? Or is it the case that even the most astute recent theorizing aimed at this move-and guided by therapeutic sensitivity and a concern with epistemic rigor-still betrays a lingering commitment to objective reality?

This is the intellectually exciting and exacting question that Richard Moore poses to his reader-and to the texts of four of the most influential psychoanalytic theorists on the scene today: Donald Spence, Roy Schafer, Robert Stolorow, and Irwin Z. Hoffman. Written with concentration and grace, The Creation of Reality in Psychoanalysis begins with the ambiguities in Freud's founding commitment to a recoverable, objectively verifiable reality before examining the ghost of objectivism that confounds, in surprising and unexpected ways, Spence's, Schafer's, Stolorow's, and Hoffman's recent attempts to move toward narrativist and constructivist views of the analytic encounter.

Following his penetrating survey of the contributions of these four major architects of contemporary psychoanalysis, Moore provides a glimpse of what an internally consistent postmodern metapsychology would actually look like. He approaches this task by exploring how our understanding of basic analytic concepts may ultimately be reconciled with the view that the creation of reality is an intrinsic aspect of any therapeutic encounter. Elegantly conceived and beautifully argued, this book guides the reader through the labyrinth of contemporary theory while holding fast to a critical stance toward its overarching goal: the elaboration of a truly thoroughgoing constructivism that is both therapeutically consequential and intellectually defensible.
Richard Moore
It has become almost de rigueur in contemporary psychoanalysis to cite Freud's positivism-especially his commitment to an objective reality that can be accessed through memory and interpretation-as a continuing source of weakness in bringing the field into the postmodern era. But is it so simple to move beyond Freud and objectivism in general? Or is it the case that even the most astute recent theorizing aimed at this move-and guided by therapeutic sensitivity and a concern with epistemic rigor-still betrays a lingering commitment to objective reality?

This is the intellectually exciting and exacting question that Richard Moore poses to his reader-and to the texts of four of the most influential psychoanalytic theorists on the scene today: Donald Spence, Roy Schafer, Robert Stolorow, and Irwin Z. Hoffman. Written with concentration and grace, The Creation of Reality in Psychoanalysis begins with the ambiguities in Freud's founding commitment to a recoverable, objectively verifiable reality before examining the ghost of objectivism that confounds, in surprising and unexpected ways, Spence's, Schafer's, Stolorow's, and Hoffman's recent attempts to move toward narrativist and constructivist views of the analytic encounter.

Following his penetrating survey of the contributions of these four major architects of contemporary psychoanalysis, Moore provides a glimpse of what an internally consistent postmodern metapsychology would actually look like. He approaches this task by exploring how our understanding of basic analytic concepts may ultimately be reconciled with the view that the creation of reality is an intrinsic aspect of any therapeutic encounter. Elegantly conceived and beautifully argued, this book guides the reader through the labyrinth of contemporary theory while holding fast to a critical stance toward its overarching goal: the elaboration of a truly thoroughgoing constructivism that is both therapeutically consequential and intellectually defensible.
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