David Millar’s PB of Richmond Park – Video Finally Found
I’ve been looking for this video for years…and I finally found it.
David Millar’s lap of Richmond Park is well and truly entrenched in the folklore surrounding cycling in S.W. London’s Richmond Park.
Richmond Park is one of the most heavily cycled areas on Strava in the world and contains many segments and laps starting in multiple places over the biggest 6.7 mile loop.
Most people I’ve spoken to about fast laps of Richmond Park know of David Millar’s lap from ‘a few years ago’. I don’t think anyone quite knew when exactly it was nor how fast it was because the video was quickly deleted when it was realised that it clearly shows him breaking the 20mph speed limit.
And that was it. With the missing video gone were the facts and Mr Millar’s lap time was progressively shortened to something like 11 minutes in the absence of facts to contradict the exaggerated folklore.
I have searched high and low for this video on Youtube and elsewhere for duplicate copies of this video. Nothing.
However, now the original story has resurfaced on the BBC website. It’s not as impressive as I’d hoped and involves Graham Bell (GBR Olympic Presenter and skier) completing a lap in a respectable 19 minutes on a road bike interspersed with an interview with David. There are some shots of Mr Millar on his Cervelo P4 and full race gear which was probably cutting edge when filmed in 2011. He doesn’t seem to be going that fast in the video but his lap time came out as 13:35 which compares very favourably with the many hundreds of thousands of laps (millions?) completed since then. Indeed 13:35 (29.6mph/47.6kmh) would still rank as a top 20 effort over this segment (link: strava.com), although it must be said that this segment is not quite a complete lap so if he really did a complete lap to the Car Park where the video is filmed then it’s probably a Top 10 effort. Add to that was the fact that he did it solo and it’s more impressive; you can see from the leaderboard, below, that the Top 2 times are probably two Team Onyx members working together (apologies if not).
Putting 13:35 into perspective
I did a few 18-minute laps yesterday (respectable) after a hard threshold run the day before. Laps on a TT bike are 30-45 seconds faster than a road bike and I reckon any lap from any starting point that comes in at 16 minutes is very good. So knocking off another 2 minutes or more is special, although I would guess that modern kit and modern riders really trying to nail this course would be well below 13 minutes in neutral traffic and weather conditions.
David Millar retired in 2014 and was suspended for drug use from 2004-5, with some results from 2003 annulled. In my opinion, he delivers excellent television commentary each year in the UK for the TdF.
Video Link: bbc.co.uk