by Stuart Kernaghan
No one will ever be able to accuse David Millar of being shy and retiring. The former Garmin-Sharp rider and multiple Grand Tour stage winner was in Vancouver on December 9 for a meet-and-greet event to unveil his new line of luxury riding wear. He also took the time to talk about his storied career and the state of the peloton today.
Millar was engaging, excited and passionate during the hour-long session and didn’t pull any punches when answering questions from the audience. He dropped a fair number of f-bombs when talking about the current state of anti-doping efforts saying, “Anti-doping is really fucked up right now and no one gives a fuck at WADA.” He spoke about his favourite race—the Tour of Flanders—and his preferred drivetrains though he refused to pick one, in what proved to be the only politically correct portion of the evening.
When asked his opinion of British Olympic gold medalist Bradley Wiggins’ therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for corticosteroid injections, Millar was decidedly blunt: “What he did was wrong. He took it as a performance enhancer. It was within the rules, but he shouldn’t have.”
The focus of the evening, however, was the new pieces of apparel being added to David Millar’s Chapter III collection. The line of premium riding gear developed in conjunction with cycling wear manufacturer Castelli. Taking its name from the third phase of Millar’s career—the first being the early days up to his suspension for doping in 2004, the second his post-doping career—Chapter III clothing combines ultra-premium fabrics with bespoke men’s fashion.
Millar and the team at Castelli have taken the best technical features from riding kits that he’s worn over the years and married them to unique materials to create a look that harkens back to 1980s James Bond-era fashion.
The line includes pieces of kit from socks to jackets and each item displays an impressive attention to detail–without the seemingly omnipresent branding on most cycling gear. It’s clear when you listen to Millar that he’s very excited about what’s being produced, saying without any false modesty that, “We do the coolest shit around.” Not surprisingly, all of that comes at a price. The Chapter III line is, as Millar put it, “fucking expensive”. An insider informed me that a full kit will run somewhere around $2,000.
Millar wasn’t the only cycling celebrity in the room, recently retired Canadian cyclist Ryder Hesjedal was at the event to support Millar. Joining Hesjedal was up-and-coming Canadian cyclist Aidan Caves who recently won a gold medal with the Canadian men’s team pursuit at the Apeldoorn World Cup and took home multiple medals from the 2016 Pan Am track cycling championships.
Keep an eye out for Millar’s new gear at your favourite performance road riding shop in the near future, but don’t be surprised if it comes out under a different name due to trademark concerns. You can also see Millar’s input on the Factor line of bikes from former Australian pro Baden Cooke, whom he has also been working with over the last couple of years.