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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


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; First Edition edition (September 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345530411
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345530417
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (971 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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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Customer Reviews

This book was an enjoyable read and hard to put down.
Gypsy
Reads like an honest account, great insight into cycling and the doping world of cycling.
Diana
I found Tylers' book very well written and easy to read.
Stevo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

200 of 206 people found the following review helpful By Steve Frazier on September 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the most devastating chronicle yet of the recent history of pro bike racing, for several reasons:

- First, the co-author, Daniel Coyle, knows his way around pro bike racing. He wrote Lance Armstrong's War: One Man's Battle Against Fate, Fame, Love, Death, Scandal, and a Few Other Rivals on the Road to the Tour de France, and his experience shows. More than just a story about Hamilton, "The Secret Race" weaves in all the significant doping scandals of the past 15 years. Although the publicity surrounding this book is driven by the interest in Lance Armstrong, the book exposes a sport-wide culture where doping was expected and the infrastructure to support it was easily accessible to the best riders.

- Second, the level of prosaic detail adds credibility. It's more than just a chronicle of what drugs were taken -- but also detail on how they worked; how they were concealed; how tests were beaten; the logistics of getting to and from the doping doctors; and the strategy of timing blood doping sessions to correspond with key stages of big races. Hamilton even details the bonus schedule he paid to his doping doctors for each major victory. Although I've read previous books on the topic, I was still surprised by the intensity of doping activities outlined here. It's the difference between having the story told by "outsiders" (investigators, journalists, team assistants) vs. "insiders" (someone like Hamilton who is finally willing to tell the story).

- Third, Hamilton's own personal story is believable.
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105 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Jiyang Chen on September 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Normally I don't write these reviews, but this was such a compelling read in light of the events that have been unfolding. Tyler Hamilton, who I admired for his ability to push through pain. Tyler Hamilton, who I lost every ounce of respect for after he lied about doping and then admitted to it. Tyler Hamilton, who I started to see not as an athlete who cheated, but as a human being who I eventually began to understand and sympathize, and a newfound sympathy for his plight and struggle. Here is a man who I no longer see as a "bad person", but someone who came to a series of life changing decisions and forks in the path, and were I to be put in his shoes, I would probably have done exactly the same things. Looking back at the many years of cycling, I realized I blindly refused to believe that the greatest hero in sports would ever guilty of a crime, and that the world was simply trying to bring him down for his successes, and I, like many others, grouped the LeMonde, Le Mondes, Ballasters, and the Andreaus as bitter people trying to destroy a great champion. This book reveals so much detail to a point where you kick yourself for being so oblivious and ignorant of the existence of such a massive, organized underworld. This book will be a game changer.
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126 of 136 people found the following review helpful By Whatever on September 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I was eager to read this book after all the drama over the past several years. The story is well written and compelling for anyone who followed professional cycling during the Armstrong era. I encourage anyone with questions about who is telling the truth in the Greek Tragedy that is Lance Armstrong's life to read this book and draw your own conclusions.
I was a fan of Lance's since he won the World Championship in 1993. I was in Paris when he won in 1999 and when he finished 3rd in 2009. I believed in Lance and his inspirational story for years and thought all the critics were simply "haters". This book convinces me that the story of Lance Armstrong is as believable as a children's fairy tale.
Tyler does not come across as vindictive, angry, or irrational. Rather, he strikes me as a regular guy who played the game by the rules in place at the time. Tyler did what almost everyone else was doing -- transfusions, testosterone, EPO -- but ended up getting caught when his doping sources screwed up and mixed up his blood bags with those of other riders.
Lance was not physiologically better than anyone else - his claim to genetic physical superiority was part of a well crafted myth. The difference is Lance had a story-book narrative that appealed to the general public and therefore sponsors and industry hacks. Protection from within the UCI sounds ridiculous - which is what Lance counted on - people would never believe such a thing and anyone who said so must be crazy/drunk/angry. Read the book and then decide.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Reid N. on September 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Strongly recommend. Well-written and well documented. The specifics of the how, when and where of the all-encompassing doping program at the US Postal Cycling team make for very interesting reading. Entirely believable. The book is filled with extended quotes from other Postal riders, Landis, VandeVelde, Vaughters, Andreu, confirming portions of Hamilton's account. What strikes me is how pervasive the ethic of doping was throughout the Peloton. Literally everyone who was competitive in the mid-1990s to 2006 (and anyone on a competitive team) had to be on some kind of program -- whether EPO, transfusions, testosterone or something else. And everyone knew about it -- all the team members, all the staff, all the spouses/girlfriends -- including Hamilton's ex Haven and by implication Kristin Armstrong. [The only wife who was intolerant was the brave and principled Betsy Andreu.] The UCI repeatedly turned a blind eye, whether because of outright corruption (promised payments by Armstrong after a positive test at the Tour of Switzerland) or because of the need for the public perception of a "clean" sport. Therefore unwritten rules governed the ethic of doping within the Peloton. The testers would only show up at certain times. Don't get caught with a hematocrit over 50 and regardless of how suspicious, there would be no violation. As Hamilton says, the dope testing regime became more of an IQ test than a doping test. If you were clever, had the right doctor, or had enough money to cover the logistics of a sophisticated doping program, you would likely not get caught. (transfusing, storing and reinfusing blood before and during the course of the Tour without the blood "going bad" was a complicated process--with life threatening consequences if there was a mistake).Read more ›
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