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
Showed the true side to Professional cycling, as far as us non-pro cyclists are able to understand. IF it is all true, then they aren't any different than body builders, baseball players, soccer players, and football players. Also makes me appreciate how much hard work actually goes into preparing for a race, doping aside.
This book is not exclusively about Lance Armstrong. Though he is a main character, it is really about Tyler's experience as a professional cyclist and the difficult choices he made. It also, persuasively, dicloses the drug use in the sport. You can dismiss 50% of this book, and it is still incredibly overwhelming. Loved it.
Fascinating stuff. If you've ever been courious about doping in cycling... this is the behind the scenes insider story. This book tells you what they do, how they do it, who is doing it and answers the biggest question of all, how they pass the doping tests. If there is still any one out there that still thinks Lance is a saint... this book shows you some of his twisted darker sides.
The methods they use to get away with doping, is stuff straight out of movies. If your a cyclist or keep up with the sport, you'll find it even more captivating since you know all the charicters. Not a cyclist? You'll still find this book beyond interesting. The bad thing about the book... THE COVER! If ever there was an example of don't judge a book by it's cover... THIS IS IT!
Job well done guys!
Thanks for providing this in audio format! Wish Landis' book was audio and "From Lance to Landis"
My reviews are honest. No sugar coating here.
After listening to Tyler Hamilton's interview on NPR Planet Money (episode 417), and watching 60 Minutes, I was compelled to read his tell all story of being a cyclist. I'm a huge fan of the sport and knew that most riders had to be on some kind of performance enhancer to keep up with the pace of the tour. I didn't knew how far it went until I listened to this title.
I'm not a fan of Lance Armstrong and had my suspicion that he was doping all along with his career. Hamilton's experience on what went on behind close doors and during the open circuit has to be accountable because one cannot make the whole thing up and not face with the consequences of getting popped and being banned.
As I followed the sport for many seasons, I'm glad that an elite rider with credibility has revealed the secret race in their sport. My only hope that the sport will be cleaned up, but just like this past Summer Olympics, when records were broken over and over in the water by super unnatural human beings, Hamilton won't be the last honest hero in their sport. They too will eventually get popped for the fairness of the game.
What makes me sad is the United States Postal Service Pro Cycling Team because they tainted all Americans of not being honest.
I have never read any of books by Lance Armstrong because he is a liar, bully and a cheat and his greatest race was defeating Cancer and he should had ended his career on that note, but now, he will always remain a loser.
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