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The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of…

The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping,… (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Tyler Hamilton, Daniel Coyle

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2411147,848 (4.05)4
Title:The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs
Authors:Tyler Hamilton
Other authors:Daniel Coyle
Info:Bantam (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 304 pages

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The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs by Tyler Hamilton (2012)


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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
A book that could be described as the a study of the hero as everyman. This book was good. The story was well told and engaging. Yes it is a particular story, Tyler's story, and he comes across as likeable and understandable. It seemed, however that he made points that we should all consider, the old, well-worn mantra of "What would you do in the same situation?" Yes he doped. Yes he claims everyone did it, and given the statistics it seems he was correct. But several other points come out. Even though everyone doped, or almost everyone at least among the elite riders, those at the top, some still managed to do better than others, it took more than doping to achieve success. Some were more honest (relatively) than others, some were not. And the big question remains, the "what would you do". For the truth is that we are, for the most part, all Tyler Hamiltons. We all want to succeed, to be liked, to be in the cool crowd. We all tell ourselves little stories and little white lies to cover our less than laudable choices. Most of us ignore evidence of wrongdoing because it is too uncomfortable. Most of just hope that bad things will simply go away. Most of us are like Tyler Hamilton and the other riders who took dope because they just wanted a chance to succeed, to show what they could do, and who believed they had no other choice, even if that belief was wrong. Most are not willing to take the risk to stand up for our beliefs against all odds. Luckily most of us are not like Lance Armstrong either. It is true that he does not come out well in this book; it is not his book after all. At the same time, from an observer's standpoint, Hamilton never came across as particularly likable during the period of his Tour de France wins. But we don't always expect our heroes to be likeable and we sometimes confuse arrogance and confidence. In many ways Armstrong was and is a prisoner of his own success, his need to win. As Hamilton points out, winning goes to your head. It can make you think you are better than everyone else; it can make you forget that reality is much more fragile. This is a engaging, touching and humanizing book, a reminder of the tentative nature of our own humanity, as a reminder of the toll our yearning for superheros really takes, both on those we idolize and ourselves. ( )
  dooney | Aug 7, 2014 |
Fascinating story of temptation, shame and the deception of trying to keep a lie. It is a sad tale of what happens when we compromise a little and then justify failing to come clean by impure motives of protecting other from being found out too. ( )
  StanLubeck | Dec 28, 2013 |
This has been a difficult book for me to read because I am very against doping, and folks gaining an advantage by cheating. Sure, many of these riders have now come clean claiming mea culpa, but many of them are in positions of financial advantage because of their cheating ways (I am a rider myself).

The book itself is very well written, chock full of details, and maintains a great pace. I found myself easily drawn into the book, wanting to find out more, about the issue that everyone has known about, but no with all the dirty laundry aired out. I assume Daniel did all the writing, and it is very well done.

This book was thought provoking, and for that I can recommend it. How do we approach these cheaters? Do we categorically condemn them, or do we forgive them? Maybe it is best to learn from the past mistakes, struggle and aim to achieve a level playing field - one that isn't full of cheaters? ( )
  akl168 | Jun 20, 2013 |
Have you ever read a book that Library Thing "predicts you won't like", just to see if the prediction is really accurate? I did. I read The Secret Race because LT indicated, with a "high" level of confidence, that it wouldn't be my cup of tea. After all, I usually don't read books about doping, or sports. Anyway, I did like the book, enough to finish it at least.

Ex-elite bike racer Tyler Hamilton, who worked with Lance Armstrong for many years, tells his sordid tale of using performance enhancing drugs prescribed and administered by slippery doctors. Everyone else does it, so in order to compete, Hamilton had to do it too. Eventually, he could no longer stand living a double life, so wrote this book as his attempt to be honest about the drug situation in the world of elite racing. Of course, now he's made an implacable enemy in Lance Armstrong. Hamilton comes across as a likeable guy who got in over his head. Armstrong, on the other hand, comes across as a total jerk.

I recommend this book, even if you think you're not interested in elite bicycle racing. ( )
  akblanchard | Jun 13, 2013 |
It will be hard for me to read. I have been anti Armstrong since 2000 and knew he doped but nobody believed me but a few cycling friends. On the other hand it will be much better to read about him now that the whole world knows what he is like..........

Hard because I will probably read how he got way with so much for all those years. Never understood the admiration. His bullying ways were so obvious plus he and his team mates all of a sudden became so good.

When he won the tour in 1999 I was happy for him, but in 2000 he showed what a despicable man he was in the way he treated others, and yes I started to dislike him, which turned to hate.

OMG. Just finished reading this book. I loved it. The world I thought I knew so much about (Yes I knew about doping and expected Lance and his whole tam to have a trick where they could dope and not be found out) turned out to be even worse!

And yes I also wondered if lance would test positively, if the Tour de France would want the world to know. Not just them but also the UCI, because Lance brought lot of viewers of America which means money)
It was shocking how right I was.

I remember all those years that when I said something negatively about Armstrong, his fans who were always telling me. He has been tested 500 times and never tested positive. (which was a lie)

The thing is, I started to dislike the guy not because of suspicion of doping but because i could what a nasty guy he was already in 2000.

But because he was a hero according to many they let him bully them.

All those journalists that licked his ball. Now they are all apologizing for not doing their work. meaning be neutral!

(Respect for Paul Kimmage who went after Armstrong and the UCI and was bullied but is now counter suing the UCI!)

Back to the book. Great story although I did feel that Tyler was still making excuses about him doping. Everybody did it. No that was not true.
But the story he is telling is really important so kudos to him, and I respect Floyd Landis for finally being honest for a change. One of few that stood against Armstrong.

( )
  Marlene-NL | Apr 12, 2013 |
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Coyle, Danielmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345530411, Hardcover)


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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:58 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Hamilton pulls back the curtain on the Tour de France and takes us into the secret world of professional cycling like never before: the doping, the lying, and his years as Lance Armstrong's teammate on U.S. Postal.

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