There's an excellent interview of David Millar by Bill Strickland over on one of the Bicycling Mag blogs called "For the sake of racing." Strickland notes that the root of the word "amateur" is the same as the root word for love, and the two of them riff about how some pro cyclists still love the sport like amateurs. Says Millar:
I think I could go around and get quite a solid list of guys who love cycling in that pure way. Michael Barry, Flecha, Phillipe Gilbert — these are guys who are absolute fans of the sport and love it. Bike pervs. But we don’t talk about it much because maybe we think people don’t care, or it makes us a bit geeky compared to the sort of cool pros, or maybe we’re just never asked about it.
He talks also about how the style of racing has changed in the almost-sorta-kinda post-dope era. Guys can take chances again, since there isn't a whole squad of artificially inhuman guys in the pack waiting to squelch every move. We've seen that in our races - where a guy is stronger than the rest and can go early and make a move work. Millar says the same is true in the pro races now, yet most of the pros don't realize it, and racing is still largely formulaic based on tactics developed when everyone was on dope. It's an interesting insight, and it sounds like he's optimistic that racing will become genuinely exciting again.
He also makes a poignant comparison between this year's Flanders and the local amateur crit. He had buried himself most of the day when Farrar came up to him and said only "I've got 100 meters in me." Millar put him in position and Farrar crushed the field sprint to finish 5th:
He stuck to my wheel the last 2k or K and half, and he did it. Then sitting there together after the finish line, it may as well have been a junior race. Or a club race, an amateur club race. We had a real moment, sitting there. We’d just done Flanders and ripped Flanders to pieces at the end, but we were like club teammates who had just helped each other at the weekly race. It’s the same sensations! We were just fucking fucked gibbering, but it could have been at the local crit race, you’d still have the same thing.
I've never liked Millar - found his whole redemption shtick pretty glib. But the guy loves racing his bike. This interview made me a fan. Worth a look, for sure.