The Secret Race

The Secret Race

Inside the Hidden World of the Tour De France : Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs

Book - 2012
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The Secret Race is a definitive look at the world of professional cycling--and the doping issue surrounding this sport and its most iconic rider, Lance Armstrong--by former Olympic gold medalist Tyler Hamilton and New York Times bestselling author Daniel Coyle.
Over the course of two years, Coyle conducted more than two hundred hours of interviews with Hamilton and spoke candidly with numerous teammates, rivals, and friends. The result is an explosive book that takes us, for the first time, deep inside a shadowy, fascinating, and surreal world of unscrupulous doctors, anything-goes team directors, and athletes so relentlessly driven to succeed that they would do anything--and take any risk, physical, mental, or moral--to gain the edge they need to win.
Tyler Hamilton was once one of the world's best-liked and top-ranked cyclists--a fierce competitor renowned among his peers for his uncanny endurance and epic tolerance for pain. In the 2003 Tour de France, he finished fourth despite breaking his collarbone in the early stages--and grinding eleven of his teeth down to the nerves along the way. He started his career with the U.S. Postal Service team in the 1990s and quickly rose to become Lance Armstrong's most trusted lieutenant, and a member of his inner circle. For the first three of Armstrong's record seven Tour de France victories, Hamilton was by Armstrong's side, clearing his way. But just weeks after Hamilton reached his own personal pinnacle--winning the gold medal at the 2004 Olympics--his career came to a sudden, ignominious end: He was found guilty of doping and exiled from the sport.
From the exhilaration of his early, naïve days in the peloton, Hamilton chronicles his ascent to the uppermost reaches of this unforgiving sport. In the mid-1990s, the advent of a powerful new blood-boosting drug called EPO reshaped the world of cycling, and a relentless, win-at-any-cost ethos took root. Its psychological toll would drive many of the sport's top performers to substance abuse, depression, even suicide. For the first time ever, Hamilton recounts his own battle with clinical depression, speaks frankly about the agonizing choices that go along with the decision to compete at a world-class level, and tells the story of his complicated relationship with Lance Armstrong.
A journey into the heart of a never-before-seen world, The Secret Race is a riveting, courageous act of witness from a man who is as determined to reveal the hard truth about his sport as he once was to win the Tour de France.
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, c2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780345530417
Characteristics: 290 p. ; 25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Coyle, Daniel


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Nov 05, 2017

The Secret Race was a huge eye opener for me on the state of the competitive cycling world. I read this book after the Lance Armstrong scandal and it completely changed my understanding of the way professional cycling works. Now I know how pervasive performance enhancing drug use was inside the pro cycling circuit. Olympian and former pro cyclist Tyler Hamilton does a great job showing the sad truth about doping and cycling. Through this book I learned about how ignorant the early drug testing committees for pro cycling were. Tyler Hamilton’s account of how early dopers were able to get away with doping by hiding their syringes in crushed pop cans was particularly shocking for me. His accounts of stopping doping and going from a top level competitive cyclist to someone just hanging on at the end of pro races was similarly shocking. This book really changed my view on pro cycling and while I still enjoy watching the sports I will always be suspicious of even the cyclists who are on teams whose central identity is being “clean”.
-@CookieMonster of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Sep 04, 2017

I've read and watched everything Lance related.

This is an excellent book about the behind the scenes doping with Lance...and how he got away with it for years.

Written before Lance finally admitted he doped...which means he wrote this knowing the All Powerful Lance would get him blacklisted in the cycling world.

Jun 17, 2017

Fun to read. It seems that Hamilton poured his soul out. This is the type of book Lance Armstrong should write: the WHOLE and honest truth.

Dec 31, 2013

A really good, clear explanation of the methods by which cyclists use chemicals and blood products to get ahead. To the author's credit, nobody's an angel here, including Tyler Hamilton. But that Armstrong guy might be the devil himself. Amazing how he manipulated so many people for so long, and got away with it.

Yachtny Jul 31, 2013

A revealing insight into the life of a professional cyclist in an era dominated by doping on an unprecedented scale. Now that Armstrong has admitted the truth of his doping and thus the truth of his critics who were right all along, I remain sceptical as to what Hamilton expects. He reports being surprised at being unwelcome on his return to cycling as he tried to find rides to see out the rest of his career. Whilst he did confess and perhaps there was animosity directed towards him from fans of Armstrong as well as the professional cycling world, on what basis does he expect a different reception? Hamilton was, when all is said and done, a cheat too.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in cycling.

Jun 04, 2013

I learned alot about big-time cycling. Recommended. Yeah, what he did was wrong, but he understood that it was what was required. Either do it, or go home. He had to put any morality to the side. I laugh at the moral perfectionists. Do these people live there lives at a high moral level? Consider a manager in a corporation. He's told to layoff people to prop up quarterly profits for the benefit of bonuses for the few. Is doping to win a race any worse than ruining people's lives for the sake of a few bonuses? The manager has to make a it, or get another job.

Mar 12, 2013

After reading this book I am left with the conclusion that Lance Armstrong is a sociopath and Tyler Hamilton is a sheep, a follower and a simpleton. The message of his book? "The truth will set you free." Profound, right? Meanwhile, he expresses little to no remorse or guilt as he details years of lying, cheating and using PEDs. He even has the nerve to say he was victimized by the public after getting busted because they called him a liar, cheat and doper. Victim? Hardly. Hero for telling the truth? No way.

capovino Feb 09, 2013

A must read, couldn't put this book down until it was finished, more intrigue than a spy novel.

Jan 29, 2013

Interesting read, wish some of the other books were available as it would be nice to get an alternate opinion of Lance

Dec 25, 2012

A very fast read that details the life of a professional rider... You will like this book!

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