Commonwealth Games gold medallist David Millar was a surprise special guest at the 2010 Braveheart Cycling Fund Dinner that helped raise £35,000 to support the development of Scottish riders.
Wearing a kilt to reaffirm his own Scottish roots, Millar joined British sprinters Mark Cavendish and Lizzie Armitstead on stage as images of his Commonwealth Games performance, where he represented Scotland, began to play accompanied by a soundtrack of Flower of Scotland. Millar won a bronze medal in the road race and gold in the time trial.
Millar was invited to become the Braveheart Fund's second patron, joining track sprinter Sir Chris Hoy. "If you'll have me, then I would consider it an honour and a privilege," responded Millar.
The eighth Braveheart dinner honoured the fund's cyclist of the year, with Charline Joiner, the silver medallist in the team sprint at the Commonwealth Games, receiving her award from Millar.
"If I'd been told a year ago that I'd win a silver medal in the Commonwealth Games, and now this, I would never have believed it," said Joiner.
Cavendish targets Merckx's Tour de France stage win record
Mark Cavendish won over the audience with an interview in which he again paid tribute to his Isle of Man teammates at the recent Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
Cavendish also backed the Braveheart Fund by getting involved in a bidding war during the auction with Millar for a Sean Kelly-signed World Cup leader's jersey. Cavendish eventually won, paying £1,500 for the special item. The auction raised a total of £35,000 with an authentic maglia rosa and race number, signed by 2010 Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso, commanding the highest sum - £2,000.
Cavendish revealed that his long-term Tour de France goal is to beat Eddy Merckx's record of 34 stage wins. "But that will be very difficult," he said. "To win one stage at the Tour is difficult and special, and that's all I try to do when I start."
The 25-year-old Cavendish has won 15 Tour de France stage wins thus far in his career.
Asked to offer some advice to Matt Brammeier, his old friend and new HTC-Columbia teammate, Cavendish joked: "Get training - you're going to be doing a lot of work on the front next year."
Brammeier was amongst the 380-strong crowd at the dinner, along with other professional riders Charly Wegelius, Adam Blythe, Russell Downing and former riders Henrik Redant and Sean Kelly.
Since it was first created in 2003, the Braveheart Fund has raised more than £245,000 and has supported around fifty Scottish riders.
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Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and Cycling Weekly, among other publications.