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David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) has hinted that he might retire in 2014, with the Commonwealth Games road race and time trial in Glasgow a possible swansong to his 17-year career.
Millar had previously indicated that he wanted to race until close to his forties. He turned 36 in January but becoming a father for a second time in May has changed his outlook on life and on his career as a rider.
Millar revealed his emotions and thoughts on retirement in a touching blog for l'Equipe. This year's Tour de France is his 12th participation in the French Grand Tour.
"I always thought I would stop my career at 39 but I think it will be sooner. One thing has changed: I've become the father of two children who were born quite close together: I've got two children, one is two years old son and the other is two months old. Since then, I have a completely different view of my life as a professional cyclist. My second son was born on May 2 but since then I've spent only 16 days at home. I don't like that," he said.
"I'm aware that time is passing quickly, too quickly. I turned pro at age 19 and suddenly I find myself as 36 year-old rider that has ridden 12 Tour de France. My sons will be 18 years old before I realise it and I want to be with them."
Millar praised his wife Nicole, for falling in love with him while he was serving his ban for doping and then helping so much during his comeback.
"A saying has emerged: behind every successful professional, there's a great woman. I had the chance to meet my wife during my suspension. At that time, I was a bum, on the edge of alcoholism, with no job or salary. And yet she fell in love with me," he said.
"When I decided to return to the peloton, I told her what my life would be like, of my absences from doing the shopping, the amount of training. She immediately understood but with two sons, it's difficult for her to do everything. She is very patient because she understands that it will not last forever. One day, I will not be a selfish athlete."
In a comment to the Scotsman newspaper, Millar talked about his Scottish roots and pride to represent Scotland at the Commonwealth Games.
"The fact that next year’s Commonwealth Games will be in Glasgow is not lost on me, and it will more than likely be one of my last races as I plan on retiring soon after," he said.
"I did the British Road Race Championships on the same circuit that we’ll race on in 2014 the week before this year’s Tour de France started – and I wouldn’t have gone if it hadn’t have been in Scotland."
"It was an amazing day. Rarely have I had so much support by the roadside and I felt more Scottish than ever before. My parents met at Glasgow University and we raced by there every lap, and I couldn’t help thinking of that. Putting on the Scottish jersey and racing around the streets of Glasgow will be a magic day for me, and no doubt a very emotional day for my parents. I couldn’t have dreamt up a finer conclusion to this part of my life."
The Commonwealth Games road race will be held on Sunday August 3, a week after the end of the 2014 Tour de France.