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The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs | [Tyler Hamilton, Daniel Coyle]

The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs

Here 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 needed to win. 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 best-selling author Daniel Coyle.

Over the course of two years, Coyle conducted more than 200 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 needed 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 11 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.

©2012 Tyler Hamilton & Daniel Coyle (P)2012 Random House

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (522 )
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  •  
    Geoff 03-21-13
    Geoff 03-21-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "interesting detail of Tour de France and cycling"
    Any additional comments?

    Tyler seems to be very honest and humble -- I enjoyed listening to his perspective.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Greensboro, NC 01-20-13
    David Greensboro, NC 01-20-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Favorite Book of the Year"

    After listening to two books a month in 2012 this book is by far the most memorable of the year. Enjoyed the details of how the doping schemes really occurred and the narration is remarkable. "Oh Tyler, you're too fat" as read by the Sean Runnette has become a regular catch phase around the house.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe 11-08-12
    Joe 11-08-12
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    "This story stays with you long after it's over!"

    Tyler Hamilton's decision to tell the truth and share his story on 60 minutes provides a great backdrop to the announcements we are seeing today. I recommend this book highly!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelley CA, United States 04-11-14
    Kelley CA, United States 04-11-14 Member Since 2006

    Lover of ideas who feels no guilt at all about her pleasures.

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    "A lover and a liar"

    I bought this book because lies fascinate me. Liars too. Cyclists - not so much. That probably has a lot to do with my lukewarm enjoyment of this book.

    My other problem was as follows: Either I'm nuts or Tyler Hamilton truly believes that his being a loving person (lots of time spent on how much he loves his folks, his wife, his teammates and the world) means he can do the exact same thing as Lance Armstrong for the very same reasons and not be guilty of the same crime. I'm mystified by this. Also annoyed.

    But perhaps Tyler is just being a good domestique. For me, this book has made Lance's lack of apology look far more appealing. In that respect, well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KRB Greenbelt, MD 11-19-13
    KRB Greenbelt, MD 11-19-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Tyler Hamilton's Life is An Epic Journey"
    What did you love best about The Secret Race?

    It doesn't get more interesting than this for a Pro Racing Fan. Tyler has a great memory and tells all. His background information on the doping scandals of the past couple of decades are even beyond what I've seen posted on cycling websites such as Velo News. Although, I read enough there to believe what I heard in this book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    What sounded to be complete answers to all the controversy was like solving a mystery. As a recreational cyclist, who has mainly done touring. I haven't endured serious competition or the dilemmas he faced. Better to do it from an armchair! All his social support from friends helped him, both to have a career, and to deal with the consequences. It was hard to believe that he wasn't more bitter given all the difficulty. He has an exceptional personality and character.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The most telling scene to me is when Floyd Landis explains why Tyler Hamilton was called in by the UCI, which Tyler said was an unusual request. Tyler had won a difficult stage in one of the run-up races to the Tour de France, I think the Dauphne, and he had defeated Lance Armstrong. All the difficult situations discussed in the book were probably excellent learning tools for him in learning about life, but I sort of liked the portion of the book when he switched teams from the one managed by Bjarne Riis. Tyler said he believed he might win the tour as a solo leader with a well financed team. What happens during this Tour approaches being the awful. A lot of fans were very impressed with Tyler's ability to gut it out. He was famous for finishing the Tour de France with a broken collarbone, if nothing else, which is one of the injuries he gives an account of in this book. I hadn't heard about his injury in the Giro (the Tour of Italy).


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The title of this book is very good. Life in a Vise, Tyler Hamilton's Triumphs and Ordeals.


    Any additional comments?

    One of the most interesting books I've read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ERICK Anchorage, AK, United States 10-09-13
    ERICK Anchorage, AK, United States 10-09-13 Member Since 2010

    Hayden729

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    "Marvellous Story"
    If you could sum up The Secret Race in three words, what would they be?

    This is an inspirational story about the importance of truth. I adored everything about it. Sure, you learn to hate the sport for what it forces cyclists to do. Tyler & Daniel delve deeply into the trouble world of modern cycling and don't hold back anything about the EPO riddled world that it unveils.
    It is so good that I wanted more. Which is always a good thing.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carrlane Quackenbush Chicago 06-06-13
    Carrlane Quackenbush Chicago 06-06-13 Member Since 2008

    Carr Lane

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    "Excellent and thought-provoking"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, to anyone in sport particularly cyclists


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Secret Race?

    Tyler paints Lance Armstrong as a bully with a pathological need to win races.


    What about Sean Runnette’s performance did you like?

    very natural


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Hamilton, Coyle and Runnette draw the listner into the narrow world of professional cycling where lives are devoted to the sport, sacrifice is the norm and the margin between the podium and back-of-the pack is 5%. The question is "what would you do" if you were them and you defined your self-worth by race results?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-01-13 Member Since 2005
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    "What a gripping memoir"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Ever since reading "It's not about the Bike", I was a Lance defender and would listen to anything bad that was said about him. Only recently have I been able to set that aside and listen to other sides of the story. And I'm glad I did. This is a fantastic history of a witness to one of the great stories of cycling. Tyler did such a great job capturing the feelings and changes of cycling during the last two decades. Tyler's story of himself and what he went through was story enough to keep me captivated. But the details of his relationship to Lance Armstrong was fascinating and revealing. I could not get enough of this book and it will now be one of my favorite biographies that I've listened to.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Absolutely.


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator was fantastic. He had such great timing and delivery. The narrator added such a great dimension to the story because he let it unfold and didn't force anything. He read it like an old friend telling a story around a campfire.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas W Parsley ARVADA, CO USA 04-23-13
    Thomas W Parsley ARVADA, CO USA 04-23-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Great book about the how dirty cycling really is"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Secret Race to be better than the print version?

    This book was engaging and very enlightening about the world of professional cycling. Hamilton took a gutsy no-holds-barred approach to telling the stories in the book, which I really appreciated.It was sometimes hard to hear what he had to say about Lance Armstrong because I really admired Lance for his accomplishments. I watched all 7 of his tour-winning campaigns and he gave me a great sense of pride.Looking back it's hard to believe everybody was so naive about Lance, but I guess we all wanted to believe in miracles. And it's completely true that all of the other tour contenders were taking performance-enhancing drugs, so Lance was not alone in that respect.In fact, I don't fault Lance for taking the drugs because it still took a huge amount of hard work sacrifice and guts to win 7 tours in a row. He is am amazing athlete with extreme determination and will power, and he put in the countless hours of very hard work day after day to win. I still admire him for that...I probably always will.But I now despise Lance Armstrong as a PERSON because he viciously attacked people who told the truth about him, drug them through the mud, cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, and ruined careers. To make matters worse, he was extremely smug and condescending while he did it.Lance proved time and time again that he only cared about himself and felt he was above the law...and he still does to an extent. He is now learning what it feels like to be on the other end of everything, and things are just going to get worse. His confession was too little too late, and I'm actually enjoying seeing him lose virtually everything he had built up over the years. I guess the old adage is true...what goes around comes around.I realize that is a bit vicious to say. Heck, I'm a actually a bit surprised I feel that way because my past admiration for Lance was so strong that I almost idolized the guy. However, after you listen to this book (and read numerous other accounts that are now coming out about what Lance is really like), then I hazard to say that you might feel the same way about Lance as a person. Anybody who treats people as poorly and viciously as he did has to have a very, very dark soul.Anyway, the book is an excellent listen and I highly recommend it. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars across the board is because it is a bit slow and long-winded at times. However, overall I was engrossed by the book and I enjoyed it immensely...even though it burst my bubble about Lance.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Tyler was very open and honest about coming clean with everything, and he even threw himself under the bus in the process. He doesn't tiptoe around the subject, which is very refreshing.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    My favorite part of the book was when Tyler was on the same team as Lance as was taken into Lance's inner circle of doping. It was very enlightening and interesting.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-22-13

    ZEN. LDS. GTD. FTW.

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    "Quite a Ride!"
    What did you love best about The Secret Race?

    It's jam-packed with juicy information. As a casual observer of professional cycling I feel like I have a whole new understanding of the sport.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Secret Race?

    Lance Armstrong: "That is NOT normal!"


    What does Sean Runnette bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He read it so good, I thought he was the author. Fantastic narrator.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Days later and I still think about it all the time. I have a few more sayings I can use now too.


    Any additional comments?

    Wow, what a confession. The story just doesn't let up at all until about the very last 10 minutes. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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