Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
Well worth Reading
on January 10, 2013
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. Following Tyler's ascent into the elite world shows that his career was always intertwined at some point with Lance. He spent a great deal of time on team Postal (which is also where his eventual involvement with doping began) and even after leaving was still exposed to the "Lance camp" as cycling at that level is a very small, closely tied community. Yes there are many references and events that include Lance but it's also a part of the life and career that Tyler has experienced. To say this is a book mainly about Lance Armstrong is false as it's truly a complete and detailed account of the career of Tyler Hamilton.
If you're a cycling fan this is highly recommended. If you're not a cycling fan but want a better understanding of what it's really like behind the ropes this is one of the best. As a general read I'd say all you have to do is check out other reviewer's comments. I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Tyler and what he's done and would hope that someday, other top elite cyclists retired or not, come forward. If they don't, this book has at least given me an understanding why.