The Secret Race
Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France
Tyler Hamilton & Daniel Coyle
This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
“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
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • WINNER OF THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD
The Secret Race is the book that rocked the world of professional cycling—and exposed, at long last, the doping culture surrounding the sport and its most iconic rider, Lance Armstrong. Former Olympic gold medalist Tyler Hamilton was once one of the world’s top-ranked cyclists—and a member of Lance Armstrong’s inner circle. Over the course of two years, New York Times bestselling author Daniel Coyle conducted more than two hundred hours of interviews with Hamilton and spoke with numerous teammates, rivals, and friends. The result is an explosive page-turner of a book that takes us deep inside a shadowy, fascinating, and surreal world of unscrupulous doctors, anything-goes team directors, and athletes so relentlessly driven to win that they would do almost anything to gain an edge. For the first time, Hamilton recounts his own battle with depression and tells the story of his complicated relationship with Lance Armstrong. This edition features a new Afterword, in which the authors reflect on the developments within the sport, and involving Armstrong, over the past year. The Secret Race is a courageous, groundbreaking 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.
With a new Afterword by the authors.
“Loaded with bombshells and revelations.”—VeloNews
“[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)
Whole truth and nothing but!
As a physician and cyclist, I devoured this book. It is well written and very well thought out. The medical/physiological aspects are well laid out for the layperson, and explained without annoying technical detail. I actually went to the TDF in 2001 and saw the Alpe d'Huez stage. The speed with which they ascended was amazing-too amazing. I wanted to believe that they were just amazing athletes-and they are, but I had my doubts. Now those doubts are confirmed. I'm not disappointed with the riders, but the culture they were forced into. Kudos to Tyler for telling the truth. It is so easy to see how one had to lie-to protect teammates, coaches, sponsors, and an entire sport. No wonder denial ruled the day. To jeopardize your own career and life is one thing-to jeopardize the fortunes of literally hundreds is another. Say what you will about Lance, Tyler, Floyd et al. they are tremendous athletes and hopefully they will be tremendous in the life they have left.
A must read for those who wish to protect the integrity of sport
The reasoning behind writing the book will be greatly disputed and its impact will be nothing short of complicated. If you love kool-aide then you should stop reading this review now.
Tyler writes with such detail of the inner workings of the tour, it will surprise fans who've followed it for years. His personal story and the story of Lance is sadly too easy not to believe. What's most interesting is that he doesn't come across as a victim nor is he condemning anyone throughout the book.
The overarching story is 2 fold. 1) that greed and survival inspire doping throughout all sports. 2) that the world loves a winner but pays little attention to nobly addressing the dark side that follows. Tyler paints a picture where this era of cycling encapsulates both of these issues. He discusses neither of these issues directly head on but if you were paying attention while you were reading you'd be left with contemplating these issues sport faces. For this alone the book has tremendous value and far reaching implications.
Some could say this book was written by a rat. But there is no greater road than showing people the value and importance of truth, especially when telling it feels worse than death and more destructive than one can imagine. Tyler comes across burdened by the truth and he's subtly aware he's throwing himself under the buss during rush hour traffic. Another subtle thread runs through the book - that Tyler hopes this books helps sport in the long term. There is a greater good, one that effects the masses in telling this kind of ugly truth.
Honor is found in humility and truth. I doubt we will see the defiant one LIVETRUTHYFULLY.
I commend you Tyler.
Hamilton's story is rewarding, not the writing.
The writing, the first measure of a good book, lacks force because of the cliches and the fact that it read more like a long magazine article than book. There is little depth.
There are some new insights and more detailed explanations of already-known facts, but nothing that the Media hadn't already reported before book came out.
That said, getting to know Tyler Hamilton was the real treat here. His story is important because he is, in reality, the all-American person trying to live the sports dream (not Lance Armstrong, as has been claimed), and encountering Hamilton's descent into the dark world of what it takes to succeed in cycling is close to literary.
Still, the book was an opportunity to do so much more with that theme as opposed to simply exposing Lance Armstrong's flaws. Less life-story plot and more psychological development about the human drive to succeed in sports, business, school, etc. at all costs might have helped show why humans are flawed. Why we risk all illicitly and how we have to live with it, and, for some, work through it. In that regard, the book makes Hamilton's truth seem human; Armstrong's denials seem psychopathic.
The beauty of Hamilton's story is that he told the truth, another type of risk-all move that might show people that making amends also has rewards.