Robert Millar, one of Britain’s most successful cyclists, has publicly disclosed a change in gender.
Philippa York made a statement on cyclingnews, disclosing her former identity as Robert Millar, the 1984 King of the Mountains at the Tour de France.
Millar, until the overall Tour wins of Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, had the highest finish of a Briton in the race, finishing fourth 33 years ago.
She wrote: “As much as I’ve guarded my privacy over the years there are a few, I believe obvious, reasons to why I haven’t had a public ‘image’ since I transitioned.
“Gratifyingly, times have moved on from 10 years ago when my family, friends and I were subjected to the archaic views and prejudice that some people and certain sections of the tabloid media held.
“Thankfully gender issues are no longer a subject of such ignorance and intolerance, there’s a much better acceptance and understanding.
“I really am delighted to have accepted this new challenge with ITV4; I’m looking forward to the racing immensely and in terms of my personal and professional development I think this is the right time to return to a more active role in cycling too – the sport I’ve always loved.”
Millar won three stages of the Tour and finished second in the 1985 and 1986 Vuelta a Espana and the 1987 Giro d’Italia, won by Stephen Roche.
York added in The Guardian: “I’ve known I was different since I was five years old, [but] what that difference was and how to deal with it has taken a fairly long time to come to terms with. All I will say is it hasn’t been an overnight process.
“Sport has generally lagged behind in its attitudes to anything other than the heterosexual norm. In that context cycling has been one of the sports most resistant to change “It’ll catch up eventually.”