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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

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  •  
    CCCii SF Bay Area, USA 09-13-12
    CCCii SF Bay Area, USA 09-13-12 Member Since 2012
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    "A sad but fascinating story"
    Any additional comments?

    This book is a real inside look at pro cycling. It's a sad tale of the temptations — perhaps irresistible — to do whatever it takes to be part of that world. Tyler is pretty hard on himself, so it's very believable. It's filled with too many small details to be totally made up.If you care about pro cycling, this is a great book. I couldn't stop listening. It's a bit like a train wreck: You can't not look. If you don't care about pro cycling, you'll be bored to death. (Ask my wife, I played it in the car on a trip.)The reader does a very creditable job. He didn't get in the way and let the story be the star, as he should have.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Søren Kongstad copenhagen s, Denmark 09-12-12
    Søren Kongstad copenhagen s, Denmark 09-12-12 Member Since 2006
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    "Interesting view into the secrets of a top sport"
    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Hamilton succumbed to temptation and started doping.
    We see athletes, especially extreme athletes, as somohow more than human, but the truth is they are just as flawed.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    david 09-11-12
    david 09-11-12
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    "WOW! This is a Great Book!"
    If you could sum up The Secret Race in three words, what would they be?

    Not what I expected. It's Better!


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

    I have followed Tyler's career and have been a fan. I've had the pleasure of meeting him briefly in a promo event. His book is both insightful and a joy to read. It made me laugh a few times and made me pause as well. I am an avid cyclist and often wondered what it would be like to compete at the highest levels. Now I have some perspective. If I was faced with the same dilemma, I would have made the same decision as Tyler. This is an uplifting story that thankfully, Tyler had the courage to tell. Daniel Coyle kept it moving forward and always interesting. I followed the races on TV and now I know a bit of what went on leading up to the races and the drama in the peloton. It lets us understand the suffering and the pain that these guys endure to get to the end of The Tour. There are no bad guys in this life story. Tyler and Daniel are a great team. I wish the story was longer.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Parsons 12-07-14

    JP the gadget geek

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    "Eye opening"

    As a recent cycling convert, I started idolizing Lance Armstrong 5 years ago. Before he "came out with it" I believed his denial of all the allegations. I initially started this book with much skepticism. By the end I "got it". I'm now a Tyler Hamilton fan. I truly wish the professional cycling world would do a reset and let these guys back into the sport, clean of course.

    1 of 1 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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ERICK Anchorage, AK, United States 10-09-13
    ERICK Anchorage, AK, United States 10-09-13 Member Since 2014

    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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carrlane Quackenbush Chicago 06-06-13
    Carrlane Quackenbush Chicago 06-06-13 Member Since 2015

    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?


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas W Parsley 04-23-13
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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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geoff 03-21-13
    Geoff 03-21-13
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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
  •  
    deb 08-10-15
    deb 08-10-15
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    "First page starts with excuses"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I couldn't bear to listen to this book after the first few pages of excuses and how he really did nothing wrong. Given he wrote an entire book based on his inability to accept responsibility, the whole book has little merit as nothing more than fabrications and spin.


    Has The Secret Race turned you off from other books in this genre?

    yes to the extent I won't spend any money on a book by anyone that was caught cheating as its very unlikely to be anything but his spin with half truths


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    none as nothing was believable given his failure to acknowledge he was responsible for his actions.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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