Winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2012.
On a fateful night in 2009, Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle met for dinner at a restaurant in Boulder, Colorado. The two had met five years before while Coyle was writing his best-selling book Lance Armstrong: Tour de Force. But this time, Tyler had something else on his mind. He finally wanted to come clean, about everything: the doping, the lying, his years as Lance Armstrong's teammate on U.S. Postal,, and his decade spent running from the truth. "I'm sorry," he told Coyle. "It just feels so good to be able to talk about this. I've been quiet for so many years."
Over the next 18 months, Hamilton would tell his story - and his sport's story - in explosive detail, never sparing himself in the process. In a way, he became as obsessed with telling the truth as he had been with winning the Tour de France just a few years before.
The result of this determination is The Secret Race, a book that pulls back the curtain and takes us into the secret world of professional cycling like never before. It's a world populated by unbelievably driven - and some flawed - characters. A world where the competition used every means to get an edge, and the options were stark. A world where it often felt like there was no choice.
©2012 Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle (P)2012 Random House AudioGo
This book answers a lot of the questions a non-athlete would ask about why someone would dope. It comes across as being an honest account by someone who readily admits their own failings as a person. A very interesting insight into the world of professional bike racing and doping generally.
Getting to know Lance Armstrong and some of his teammates from an inside perspective. What it's like to live, train and compete in the top echelon of professional cheaters... I mean cyclists...
Sean really brings the dynamic of living the story. He tells it as though it is live and happening all around us right now... This could also be because I listen to it while cycling in the mornings!
I didn't cry but I definitely laughed out loud several times while listening. Some of the stories were genuinely funny but mostly just quite shocking to learn some of the secret techniques these guys use to maintain their competitive advantages in the sport.
Complete and shocking truth about widespread drug usage from the early 90s. Many famous riders are named in this book. But a moral dilemna given Nicole Cooke's recent retirement speech as follows: "Tyler Hamilton will make more money from his book describing how he cheated than Bessette or I will make in all our years of our honest labour. The situation requires the very basics of morality. Please don't reward people like Hamilton with money. That is the last thing he needs. Donate his literary prize and subsequent earnings from such publications to a charity. There are many places infinitely more deserving than the filthy hands of Hamilton."
'Its Not About the Bike' - It's about Lance, as much as about Hamilton himself. Maybe a bit too much Lance in this book, but interesting nevertheless and topical.
Jens Voigt - "I'm looking at the wheel in front of me".
'Vampires in the Peleton'
Right up with the best. Couldn't stop listening
Its amazing to think lance got away with this for so many years....
If you've had your head in the sand this will blow your mind.
Very interesting book, solid expose of cycling.
I had just read the Bush at War series before this and in some ways it lifts the veil on a world we only glimpse into much the same way.
The discussion of how Tyler first came to dope
The persistence of USADA to go after Armstrong was impressive
As a casual cycling fan I found this fascinating, Hamilton does not leave any thing out and should be commended for his candor. A really interesting read for any sports fan.
"Great story even if you are not a bike racing fan"
This book tells it like it was about the doping culture in top class bike racing and how it was impossible to win without enhancing your performance. A fascinating insight into the top races and racers, making clear that those superhuman feats you had seen in the Tour de France on TV really were that - beyond normal human achievement. Tyler Hamilton comes across as a basically decent guy, and there is relatively little special pleading. The commentary by his co-author Daniel Coyle adds welcome balance. Just be glad that the Tour is so much slower than it was. Sean Runnette reads really well.
I'd just finished listening to Bradley Wiggin's autobiography and moved straight onto this one. Talk about a complete contrast of the same competition and hopefully shows how much progress the sport has made over the last few years. Sean Runnette narrated it perfectly and painted a brilliant picture of 'The Secret Race'. If you're interested in bike racing then this is an absolute must listen to, especially after the recent Lance Armstrong Oprah Winfrey confession. You'll be hooked and in disbelief of the cover up over the last 15 years.
"Brilliantly written and narrated"
I have been a lover of the Tour De France since ITV's World of Sport showed it in the 70's. And since the 80's/90's have followed it religiously on C4 and then Eurosport. I remember the Festina affair well and how the cyclists refused to race the following day. I don't think I ever imagined cycling was so dirty, well not until this book. Daniel Coyle and Sean Runnette have turned this autobiography of a cycling cheat into a masterpiece. Don't get me wrong I think Tyler cheated for all the right reasons. He wanted to win and not get left behind and he wanted to beat his once friend and nemisis Lance Armstrong. The book is endearing and engaging and you almost don't want Tyler Hamilton to get caught, but you know how it ends. I'm really pleased his story has been made into a book. I think a film must be on the cards. This book is worth 5 stars any day of the week, certainly the best Autobiography I've read/heard in a very, very, long time
"The Truth Will Out!"
Tyler Hamilton, pro-cyclist, Lance Armstrong team mate, Olympic Gold Medalist, Doper, Cheat, Human being. The book tells the story of Tyler Hamilton, how he became a professional cyclist, how he was one of Lance Armstrong's closest team mates, how he was doping on an almost industrial scale (but not quite as much as Lance, EPO, blood transfusions, Human Growth Hormone, Testostorone etc). I bought this book partly to get insight into Lance Armstrong (LA). Before buying the book I suspected that LA was a doper. By the end of the very detailed, but entertaining, book, I came to understand how LA had obviously had kept one step ahead of the other (many) dopers and in essence how his 7 TdF titles was as much down to his willingness to go that extra mile in cheating and in keeping the competition from getting access to the latest drugs and cheating techniques. It also reveals how LA is quite a bully, a ruthless one at that. But the book is not written as a character assassination of LA. It's the story of how a human being, made mistakes and how he has been affected by those mistakes. The moral of the book is: If you are going to live a lie, don't expect to sleep easy at night (unless you are one of those rare people who lacks a conscience). The author of the book also gives insight by speaking to and about other characters involved in pro-cycling and by the depth of research he has done which underlines the credibility of the story. Overall a very well researched and written story.
A fascinating and honest description of a life lived at the top of professional cycling. A story told warts and all.
The moment Tyler's made the decision to say enough is enough and chose to tell the truth.
At dinner when he describes the support of his family when he had to tell his mum what had been going on.
The scene where Tyler and his friends go to the restaurant to be then confronted by LA at the bar. It described clearly two men's differing responses in a tense and aggressive situation.
An inspiring story of someone with the strength to say enough is enough and change his life forever.
"unusually gripping for a non-fiction book"
Left me open mouthed at the lenghts that some riders (cheats) would go to.
Would recommend this to anybody with a passing interest in the Tour de France and wants to know about the "bad" times that have now hopefully passed.
Yes I would and I have. A very interesting book, about the pressures of riding bikes at the to level in the late 90 & early 00's
Many stand out moments, Hamilton Grinding down his teeth, bike riding is like jumping out your car at 40mph into a pile of metal in your underpants, the simplicity of avoiding drug testers, the lengths these guys go to to dope. Amazing
Good insight into the pressure of a professional racer....,
not sure, my 1st Audio
The Secret Race...., oddly.., :-)
This is my first every audio book, and what a book to choose.
A fantastic no holds barred insight into the murky behind the scenes world of doping and drug taking in pro cycling. Tyler Hamilton should be applauded and congratulated for having the moral courage to tell the truth about it all.
I now see the fantastic tour battles between Armstrong and ullrich in a different light. I even have some sympathy for Armstrong because everyone was at it.
it also provides a fascinating insight into the win at all cost mentality of sportsmen like Armstrong
Well narrated and compulsive listening, its made my commute a pleasure over the last fortnight
"Shocking insight, well written and read"
Wow! If even 10% of this is true (I think it is 99% accurate actually) it's a terrible tale of bullying, arrogance, ineptitude, collusion and naivety.
This is a painful read for any cycling fan, and a lesson in how easily people can be manipulated by powerful personalities to do what they know to be wrong, and how journalists and governing bodies turn a blind eye too, or even willfully collude.
Read this and it will make you look at all sport with a suspicious eye. Any sport that does not actively use the 'Blood Passport' system of doping control is vulnerable to serious blood doping cheating, and you don't have to think hard to think of high profile sports that don't have that system in place.
Hamilton gave the story to Daniel Coyle, who has written a very coherent, readable book, unlike many other sports 'autobiographies'.
The narrator is also good.
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