Sunday, July 08, 2007

Britain's vanished Tour de France champion reappears - as a woman

By NEIL SEARS - 6th July 2007

Known as "King of the Mountains", cyclist Robert Millar was Britain's best performer in the Tour de France and an inspiration to a generation of fans.

He was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1984 and became an elder statesman of cycling once his racing days were over.

Then, four years ago, he simply disappeared - and even a year's research for a newly published biography failed to track him down

But as the latest Tour de France starts in London today, the Daily Mail can reveal that Millar, 48, will never be able to use the title "King of the Mountains" again.

For the powerful sporting hero who once failed a drugs test for having too much testosterone is now living as a woman under the name Philippa York in a Dorset village.

A neighbour said last night: "Everyone knows Philippa used to be a man but is too polite to speak to her about her previous life.

"She still likes cycling - you often see her on her bike, in all the gear, and with her long hair sticking out the sides of her cycling helmet."

Robert Millar was raised in the Gorbals district of Glasgow, and his talent was spotted when he was a teenage engineering apprentice.

He later moved to France and swiftly established a Tour de France record which exceeds that of any other British cyclist. . . .