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“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)
Published: Random House Publishing Group an imprint of Random House Publishing Group on
ISBN: 9780345530431
List price: $11.99
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Heartbreaking, as a long time cycling fan, but essential reading.more
The Secret Race is a (hopefully) honest account of the rampant doping in the sport of cycling throughout the past twenty years. Tyler Hamilton, once one of the sport's top riders, reveals how doping quickly became a necessity to anyone hoping to compete at an elite level. Along the way, Hamilton divulges information regarding cycling's most prominent figure, Lance Armstrong, including his use, and subsequent cover-up, of performance enhancing drugs.

In a sport that has become incredibly clouded with secrets and lies, Hamilton's book accomplishes a rare thing; it makes you believe he is telling the truth. There are a surprising amount of corroborating stories, anecdotes, and testimonies throughout the book that provide support for Hamilton's story, but they aren't even necessary. Hamilton's writing (with Coyle's help) is incredibly honest, personal, and detailed, and creates such an authentic story that it is nearly impossible to harbor doubts about its accuracy.

While I was definitely impressed by Hamilton's book, it did occasionally fall into, and later rely upon, some tedious information (procedures for blood transfusions, lists of different drugs, hematocrit levels, names of former riders and specific tour stages). Personally, I enjoyed even these aspects of the story, as my memories of the Tour are still fresh enough for me to follow the references, but for a broader audience there will likely be some passages that become frustrating to read.

I also have a gripe about the cover. To me, this cover feels a bit bland and boring. Largely blank except for two crudely cropped photos of Hamilton and Armstrong on racing bikes, I first thought this was a self-published book before I recognized the title. The book is very good and speaks for itself, but it deserves a larger audience than this cover will draw in.

In the end, The Secret Race is a very personal and gripping look into the cycling industry as well as a captivating memoir of Tyler Hamilton's life.

Thanks to First Reads and Bantam Books for providing me this copy of The Secret Race.more
A behind the scenes look at the sport of cycling and doping from a candid professional cyclist. Tyler Hamilton takes readers on his journey in the toughest sport in the world and how someone incredibly athletic comes to make the decisions he made to insure he could compete with the best.I became a fan of cycling recently (within the last few years) so I was already aware of widespread doping and I had no idea who Tyler Hamilton is until I read this. Some people would be appalled by the fact that these athletes dope and would think of it in the same way that they think of a baseball player doping. I already knew that it was completely different and that difference is incredibly important so this isn’t shocking to me at all. Reading from a cyclist’s perspective was a nice change and made it more human than reading solely from a journalist’s opinion. I found myself respecting Tyler Hamilton early on in this and it has made me want to research other cyclists that were mentioned as well. There is that moment when you ask yourself what you would do if the shoe was on your foot and then ask if you’re being honest. I will highly recommend this one to everyone (fan or not).more
I liked Hamilton before I knew he was a doper. Then I was disgusted him, especially after his chimera defense. This book is brutally honest and I believe it. I see today that there are reports that Lance Armstrong is considering admitting his PED use. Hamilton's account rings true and has many details I've not seen before on how they doped and still tested clean.more
Tyler Hamilton and Lance Armstrong were both born just a few months apart in 1971, they were teammates before they became famous and saw one another rise (and fall) through their professional careers. And it turns out they were both heavily into doping. Hamilton has come clean in this detailed memoir of what happened. The type of dope, how they took it, how they hid it, how it helped them (and Lance in particular) become the world's top racers. Hamilton and Armstrong have a deep division today because Armstrong still maintains his innocence but Hamilton comes across the better and stronger man for admitting his guilt and putting it all out in the open. This is a really well written and compelling book, hard to put down. It's larger than two people, it's about the sport as a whole - and it's an ancient story of redemption and the power of truth. I got a lot out of this book. One day sooner than later Armstrong will write his own book but it's hard to imagine it topping the power of this book.more
Read all 5 reviews

Reviews

Heartbreaking, as a long time cycling fan, but essential reading.more
The Secret Race is a (hopefully) honest account of the rampant doping in the sport of cycling throughout the past twenty years. Tyler Hamilton, once one of the sport's top riders, reveals how doping quickly became a necessity to anyone hoping to compete at an elite level. Along the way, Hamilton divulges information regarding cycling's most prominent figure, Lance Armstrong, including his use, and subsequent cover-up, of performance enhancing drugs.

In a sport that has become incredibly clouded with secrets and lies, Hamilton's book accomplishes a rare thing; it makes you believe he is telling the truth. There are a surprising amount of corroborating stories, anecdotes, and testimonies throughout the book that provide support for Hamilton's story, but they aren't even necessary. Hamilton's writing (with Coyle's help) is incredibly honest, personal, and detailed, and creates such an authentic story that it is nearly impossible to harbor doubts about its accuracy.

While I was definitely impressed by Hamilton's book, it did occasionally fall into, and later rely upon, some tedious information (procedures for blood transfusions, lists of different drugs, hematocrit levels, names of former riders and specific tour stages). Personally, I enjoyed even these aspects of the story, as my memories of the Tour are still fresh enough for me to follow the references, but for a broader audience there will likely be some passages that become frustrating to read.

I also have a gripe about the cover. To me, this cover feels a bit bland and boring. Largely blank except for two crudely cropped photos of Hamilton and Armstrong on racing bikes, I first thought this was a self-published book before I recognized the title. The book is very good and speaks for itself, but it deserves a larger audience than this cover will draw in.

In the end, The Secret Race is a very personal and gripping look into the cycling industry as well as a captivating memoir of Tyler Hamilton's life.

Thanks to First Reads and Bantam Books for providing me this copy of The Secret Race.more
A behind the scenes look at the sport of cycling and doping from a candid professional cyclist. Tyler Hamilton takes readers on his journey in the toughest sport in the world and how someone incredibly athletic comes to make the decisions he made to insure he could compete with the best.I became a fan of cycling recently (within the last few years) so I was already aware of widespread doping and I had no idea who Tyler Hamilton is until I read this. Some people would be appalled by the fact that these athletes dope and would think of it in the same way that they think of a baseball player doping. I already knew that it was completely different and that difference is incredibly important so this isn’t shocking to me at all. Reading from a cyclist’s perspective was a nice change and made it more human than reading solely from a journalist’s opinion. I found myself respecting Tyler Hamilton early on in this and it has made me want to research other cyclists that were mentioned as well. There is that moment when you ask yourself what you would do if the shoe was on your foot and then ask if you’re being honest. I will highly recommend this one to everyone (fan or not).more
I liked Hamilton before I knew he was a doper. Then I was disgusted him, especially after his chimera defense. This book is brutally honest and I believe it. I see today that there are reports that Lance Armstrong is considering admitting his PED use. Hamilton's account rings true and has many details I've not seen before on how they doped and still tested clean.more
Tyler Hamilton and Lance Armstrong were both born just a few months apart in 1971, they were teammates before they became famous and saw one another rise (and fall) through their professional careers. And it turns out they were both heavily into doping. Hamilton has come clean in this detailed memoir of what happened. The type of dope, how they took it, how they hid it, how it helped them (and Lance in particular) become the world's top racers. Hamilton and Armstrong have a deep division today because Armstrong still maintains his innocence but Hamilton comes across the better and stronger man for admitting his guilt and putting it all out in the open. This is a really well written and compelling book, hard to put down. It's larger than two people, it's about the sport as a whole - and it's an ancient story of redemption and the power of truth. I got a lot out of this book. One day sooner than later Armstrong will write his own book but it's hard to imagine it topping the power of this book.more
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