Nomenclature – Pan y Agua

by Old Bone Machine

In pro cycling, to be riding pan y agua indicates you are racing clean. You are racing solely on bread and water.

(David Millar winning stage 12 of the 2012 Tour De France, photo credit: EPA)

In 2004 David Millar was arrested ironically at a restaurant near Biarritz, France, on suspicion of using EPO.

I was shocked, but I didn’t think they had anything on me. I thought it was a waste of time – just a publicity stunt. They took me back to the apartment. They went in with a gun first, as if somebody was going to hit them with a back wheel or something. They sat me down and I wasn’t allowed to move while they searched the house. They search while you’re there. It took them four hours.

They humiliated me and were critiquing my lifestyle, using a classic good cop, bad cop thing. It was psychological warfare. The bad cop literally hated me. He was saying: ‘You’re not a good person – we know that.’ He said: ‘You take three paces and I will bring you down like you’re resisting arrest.’ It was deliberate. I felt completely violated.

The plainclothes policemen found vials of EPO and empty syringes. Millar was arrested and placed in a prison cell then later banned from cycling for two years.

More recently though David Millar has been riding pan y agua for Garmin-Sharp and the British Road Race team. He is today the peloton’s most vocal anti-doping campaigner.

A few days ago he provided the following Twitter post:

David Millar (@millarmind)
23/10/12 2:03 AM
I shit you not, my wife has just sent me to the supermarket to get bread and water.