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

Tyler Hamilton , Daniel Coyle
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 5 2012
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • WINNER OF THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD

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 bestselling author Daniel Coyle.
 
Over the course of two years, Coyle conducted more than two hundred 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 need 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 eleven 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.

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Review

“Loaded with bombshells and revelations.”—VeloNews

“The holy grail for disillusioned cycling fans . . . The book’s power is in the collective details, all strung together in a story that is told with such clear-eyed conviction that you never doubt its veracity. . . . The Secret Race isn’t just a game changer for the Lance Armstrong myth. It’s the game ender.”—Outside
 
“[An] often harrowing story . . . the broadest, most accessible look at cycling’s drug problems to date.”—The New York Times
 
“ ‘If I cheated, how did I get away with it?’ That question, posed to SI by Lance Armstrong five years ago, has never been answered more definitively than it is in Tyler Hamilton’s new book.”—Sports Illustrated
 
“Explosive.”—The Daily Telegraph (London)

About the Author

Tyler Hamilton is a former professional bike racer, Olympic gold medalist, and NCAA champion. He raced professionally from 1995 to 2008 and now runs his own company, Tyler Hamilton Training LLC, in Boulder, Colorado. He lives in Missoula, Montana, with his wife, Lindsay, and his dog, Tanker.
 
Daniel Coyle is the New York Times bestselling author of Lance Armstrong’s War and The Talent Code. He lives with his wife and four children in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, and Homer, Alaska.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth Reading Jan. 10 2013
Format:Hardcover
I'm a passionate cyclist who has been following the sport for most of my life. I've read most of the autobiographies out there including all of Armstrong's. When this book first came out I was mixed on whether to read it as I wasn't sure how credible or what to expect. Keep in mind that the world of cycling has had it's head turned upside down in the last 1/2 of 2012 so was this a book capitalizing on the timing and circumstances with it's release?

My brother-in-law is as big a fan of cycling as I am and he ended up getting it first. When I spoke to him he hadn't even finished 1/2 of it and said "you have to read this. It describes the inner workings and systems better than anything I've read so far". Once in hand I flew through the pages. Well written from Tyler's point of view he clearly outlines what it's like to train and compete at the highest level, the struggle to get there, and the inevitable choices that are made by the individual. Each event that's recounted in different races are spot on and as I read through I can recall those specific points clearly as if I had watched it just yesterday. To be able to relate to those periods in a race as a spectator but also understand what was going through Tyler's mind at that point combined with the knowledge of the systematic doping that was happening changed my outlook on some riders and the sport completely.

I have a much better understanding of why doping is unfair and how it affects each individual differently. I used to think that if they all dope then isn't it still a fairly level playing field which is completely misguided. Many professional reviews had slammed this book for being more about Lance Armstrong than about Tyler Hamilton and a way to sell the pages. I disagree.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating Read Feb. 26 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My husband read this during the outrage about the use of drugs in cycling and he recommends it to anyone who wants to know more about what the "actuals" were during this time. Was it the "norm" and part and parcel of the sport? It outlines the physical strength required for this sport (with or without drugs). My husband isn't the reading type but he could not put this down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read Jan. 9 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is very well written. I couldn't put it down. Tyler Hamilton is so forthcoming in his account. If you want a great view into the world of cyling, this is it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks Tyler! March 23 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fianaly, I know what really happened with this team on these TDF. Thanks to Tyler H. Great book extremely well written.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent about doping Oct. 17 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
De loin le meilleur livre sur le sujet. Le plus révélateur. Une seule mise en garde, vous ne regarderez plus jamais une course de vélo de la même façon
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5.0 out of 5 stars my mind was boggled Feb. 1 2014
By john k.
Format:Kindle Edition
I loved the honesty and insight. I am a fan of cycling and going through all those races again with this incredible insider viewpoint made this a great read for me
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5.0 out of 5 stars wow, shocking, entertaining, and enlightening May 6 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I followed Bike racing a bit during the 90s period, but did not realize the amount of stuff going on. The competitiveness of it all very scary, and the hardships, the triumphs etc, well written, and educational.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quite enlightening and enjoyable May 4 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Quite enjoyed this informative read on one cyclists experience with the Tour de France. I have recommended to friends! as a great read!
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