For cycling fans this is a MUST READ. For those unfamiliar with this crazy sport the book provides enough background to make sense but the level of detail may be a bit much. The Secret Race is sometimes deeply sad, sometimes wildly humorous, sometimes riveting but always interesting. Coyle does a fine job. The quality of the writing is very high and he at least appears to have done a more than adequate job of fact checking. Although Runnette's voice seems inappropriate at first, he adds a level of sincerity that makes the story that much more believable. Like Tyler or not, this book adds perspective and detail to make sense of the whole doping situation in cycling. It's sad and unfortunate and far from black and white. An excellent read.
very interesting listen
This story answered all of the questions about doping in bike races and how they get away with it.
I have never been a bike person but have always respected the athleticism of those who are. This is an very interesting story about how they have to cheat to compete and how they get away with it. I loved listening to this book.
A well written account of cycling, the desire to compete and how the rules were twisted.
I now understand how it all works and how easy it is to love something so much you are willing to risk all. Now I wonder what other sports use these techniques.
I had always been a supporter and fan of our national hero Lance Armstrong, who supposedly never failed a drug test. This book will lay that to rest, and get you real acquainted with the man. NOT a nice guy. A real jerk, actually. This book is an amazing window inside the world of top-elite international cycling. Its timing was unfortunate: it came out just a month or two before USADA Anti-Doping Agency stripped Armstrong of his 7 Tour de France titles and banned him from the sport for life (incl. his new sport, triathaloning), supported by 11,000 pages of documents, receipts for EPO and testosterone, and testimony of 11 of his teammates. He has been abandoned by all his corporate sponsors, including Nike. Hamilton,the author, tells how he himself got "popped" after winning the Gold Medal in the Olympics. The hack doctor he was using mixed up his blood with someone else's in a transfusion. The cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game he and his wife played with blood testers to escape detection when he was "glowing" will amaze you. Mr. Armstrong remains defiant and proclaiming his innocence, but now has a $30 or $40 million legal problem: that's how much the U.S. Government (Postal Service) and his corporate sponsors are coming after him for for fraud.
It's time for us to all clean up our sport - and this is brutal dose of reality that anyone who loves the bike must read/listen.Great story, chapeau to Tyler for telling us the truth.
The honest, detailed story of the madness that was professional cycling during over the last 15 years.
I've never been a huge fan of cycling, but I've loosely followed it over the years. This look behind the curtains of cycling was fascinating, not just for the connection to the scandal that is currently unfolding in the public, but also for the details of what it is like to be at the top of a sport. The training, the stress, the traveling. The complete and utter dedication these athletes have to the sport.
I was glad to be able to experience the insight into this story as the public version was also unfolding. All of the players in the public scene are touched on in the book. However, it was obvious that editing of the book was skimped on in order to get it out in time. There were several repetitive passages and some less polished sections.
Overall, a very interesting and timely book. Recommended.
I really enjoyed the story and was shocked by the behavior of the cyclists. If you think Armstrong is innocent, you must listen to this book. It is not a bitter tale, it is more a recounting of facts. Hamilton wants to tell the story because the truth lifts a burden from his soul.
I did not like the narrator. His inflection was "off" at times and I found it difficult to listen to him. If the story had not been so captivating, I wouldn't have listened.
I'm a lifetime athlete but only moderately interested in biking but have read everything on Armstrong since the first allegations of doping. I gave Armstrong the benefit of the doubt and even bought into some of the witch hunt conspiracy theories BEFORE this book. There is so much detail on how it was done that 1) I cannot believe Hamilton and others could have made up this story 2) you can see how the European system and bike mania there could allow or even facilitate this happening.
It helps to know a little about bike racing but it is not required to enjoy this book that is part biography and part expose.
One start off for the narrator who at times sounded lethargic. If you are familiar with the sound and cadence of the "Ketchup" commercials on Prairie Home Companion...he sometimes sounded like that.
Brisk read/listen; you'll find yourself in the driveway not wanting to turn it off.
I enjoyed how open Tyler Hamilton was in telling us about the secret world of professional cycling. He didn't space a single detail or a single name in telling us about his years on the tour.
It reminded me of Andre Agassi's "Open," another very honest, no-holds-barred sports autobiography. I thoroughly enjoyed both.
Tyler, of course. You feel for him and understand the struggles that he had to go through.
It's pretty long to listen to all in one sitting, but I was always looking forward to getting back into my car to hear the next chapter.
If you're thinking of buying this book to get the inside scoop on Lance Armstrong, the book will not disappoint.