Cyclist Robert Millar will be forever associated with the Tour de France and his stellar performance in 1984, when he finished fourth and was crowned King of the Mountains.

The Glaswegian was training to be a factory engineer when he began riding for Glenmarnock Wheelers, where he quickly established himself as a leading amateur road racer.

Excelling in specialist hill and mountain cycling, Robert won the Scottish junior title in 1976 and was Scottish hill-climb champion the following year. In 1978, he was 21st in the Milk Race and won the British amateur road race championship.

Having moved to France in 1979 to join top amateur team Athletic Club de Boulogne Billancourt, he claimed five wins and the Best Amateur Trophy before turning professional.

Steady successes followed until the determined rider made his Tour de France debut in 1983, finishing 14thoverall. The following year he was back, winning Stage 11 by a 41sec margin. Finishing fourth overall, the ace climber became the first native English speaker to be awarded the famous polka dot jersey as King of the Mountains. 

Following this success, he finished second in the Vuelta a Espana in 1985 and 1986. The 1985 race was a bitter one for Robert as he accused the Spanish-speaking riders of colluding to deny him certain victory. The incident became known as ‘the stolen Vuelta’.

However, he bounced back to come second in the 1987 Giro d'Italia – a race second only to the Tour de France in prestige – winning King of the Mountains in the process.

After another stage win in the 1989 Tour de France, and victory in the 1995 British Professional Road Race, Robert retired, moving into journalism and spending a year as coach for British Cycling.

After publicly revealing her gender transition in 2017, the athlete now lives as Philippa York and she has worked as a broadcaster during the Tour de France.

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