17-year career to come to a close
David Millar (Garmin Sharp) has announced his retirement from professional cycling in an interview with Dutch Cycling magazine Wieler Revue. Having relaunched his career in 2007 with Saunier Duval on the return from a doping suspension, Millar moved to Garmin-Chipotle the following season and is now set to close out his career -as well as his seventh season with Jonathan Vaughter's squad- at the conclusion of the 2014 season.
Having previously hinted that the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year could be the possible finale to his 17-year-career. Millar explained that the decision was not a sudden realisation that his time had come, but more simply a progression of small signs slowly leading to his recent announcement.
"It has been quite organic really. You always think it is going to be a definitive moment, but it hasn't. It has kind of crept up and I am suddenly realising it is time," explained Millar. "I think my body is actually getting stronger. It is just I don't want it or need it as much as I once did.
"Now I love it [professional cycling], and I want to be able to do it but I don't need it as much as I did when I was younger. It is very much a conscious decision now whereas it wasn't before."
When pressed on the highlight of his career, Millar stated his whole career was a highlight and emphasised his focus on his life as a whole.
"My whole career is a highlight. I would like to think years from now I will remember this as being one part of my life rather than one moment of a life."
Having begun his professional career with Cofidis in 1997, Millar's career highlights include five stage wins at the Vuelta a Espagna and four stage wins at the Tour de France, the most recent coming last year. For most cycling fans, however, Millar will be known as the born again anti-doping crusader following his arrest on the eve of the 2004 Tour de France, the subsequent admission, and his more recent confessions and outlining of doping practices in his book and other interviews.
"I can still be on top of the game - I know that - but it is a lot harder for me now and I want to be on top of my game next year," continued Millar. "So I know I can get that out of me,"
"With the motivation of knowing it is my last year, I know I can get the best out of myself."
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