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David Millar announces retirement from cycling at end of 2014 season
David Millar, the most controversial British cyclist of recent years and the most high-profile anti-doping campaigner in the professional peloton,nike lĂ¸besko, has confirmed that he will bring his career to a close at the end of 2014 – 17 seasons after he joined the elite racing ranks.
Millar, who turned professional in 1997 but missed the whole of 2005 following a ban for doping, won the fourth Tour de France stage of his career last year, having previously won stages in the 2000, 2002 and 2003 races.
He was the first British cyclist to wear the race leader's jersey in all three major Tours, France, Spain and Italy, and the list of the 36-year-old's major wins also includes the Commonwealth Games time-trial title in 2010.
However, his achievements on the road have been largely eclipsed by the profile he has achieved off the bike and his conversion into a leading figure in cycling's struggle to move on from its drug-riddled past.
Millar confessed to doping on the eve of the 2004 Tour after being arrested by French police close to his then home in Biarritz and was banned for two years. At that point he was the world time-trial champion,nike sko, having won the rainbow jersey in autumn 2003. He was stripped of his title.
That – for the time – was relatively routine stuff for cycling but what has set Millar apart since then is the role he has taken up in his sport. Millar returned to cycling determined to campaign against dopingand has never shied away from speaking about the topic – giving the Guardian an emotional interview within a few weeks of being banned.
He was one of the founders of the Slipstream squad, in 2007-08, together with Lance Armstrong's former team-mate Jonathan Vaughters, with whom he set out to construct a squad built on an ethical foundation,nike air max, where doping was not an option for the riders.
The two men's "little mission" has turned into one of cycling's leading teams – now sponsored by Garmin and Sharp – and is widely regarded within the sport as a role model, with its emphasis on independent testing of the cyclists,billige nike shox, and its acceptance of those who have taken drugs, confessed and served bans.
Several of the team,billige nike sko, including Vaughters, were among those who testified against Lance Armstrong when the US Anti-Doping Agency built its case against the seven-times winner.
Millar has also gained a profile as the writer of one of cycling's better confessional autobiographies, Racing Through the Dark, in which he took the reader through his rise and fall and the process of redemption.
In recent seasons he has admitted to suffering increasingly from health and injury problems as his 20 years on the road have taken their toll, and he had hinted that the 2013 Tour had taken him close to the end of the line.
Millar confirmed his decision to finish riding in a video interview given to the Dutch cycling magazine Wieler Revue. "It has been quite organic really. You always think it is going to be a definitive moment but it hasn't been," he said. "It has kind of crept up and I am suddenly realising it is time. I think my body is actually getting stronger. It is just that I don't want it or need it as much as I once did. It is very much a conscious decision. 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,billige nike free, 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."
In addition to his four Tour stage wins, Millar has also won stages at the Vuelta a España and the Giro d'Italia.