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 Timesbestselling 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.
About Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle
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 bestsellingauthor of Lance Armstrong’s War and The Talent Code. He lives with his wife and four children in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, and Homer, Alaska.
Bicycle Thieves: World-Class Cycling’s Drug Trade - ‘The Secret Race’ by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle
The New York Times Book Review – September 11, 2012 (Excerpt)
After Lance Armstrong decided last month not to contest doping charges and a move to strip away his seven Tour de France titles, he left the cycling world anxiously awaiting the release of a report documenting the illicit ways he boosted his performance.
The United States Anti-Doping Agency has not set a publication date for that exposé. But impatient readers can turn to “The Secret Race” by Tyler Hamilton, an Olympic gold medalist and one-time key teammate of Mr. Armstrong’s who has since confessed to cheating and lying himself.
The journalists David Walsh and Pierre Ballester long ago published some of the allegations against Mr. Armstrong that Mr. Hamilton describes. But owing to extensive reporting by Mr. Hamilton’s co-author, Daniel Coyle, “The Secret Race” is much more than just one disgraced cyclist’s confessions and accusations. [Read the full article...]
Tour de Farce - ‘The Secret Race,’ by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle
The New York Times Book Review – November 9, 2012 (Excerpt)
“Hey dude, you got any Poe I can borrow?” The scene was Lance Armstrong’s villa in Nice, in 1999, the year that he first won the Tour de France, and the speaker was his teammate Tyler Hamilton. Or again: “Gonna visit Edgar. My old buddy Edgar.” These seemingly obscure allusions to the author of “The Raven” are explained as the plot — in more than one sense — unfolds in “The Secret Race,” Hamilton’s confessional memoir, written with Daniel Coyle. With its faults, the book is riveting enough, although today, some weeks after its publication, it reads like a trailer to the 200-page report from the United States Anti-Doping Agency released last month. This devastating indictment of the worst doping scandal — and the greatest conspiracy — yet seen in competitive sport led to the decision by the International Cycling Union, the cycling governing body, to strip Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles and bar him from the sport for life. These are very dark times for bike racing.
Forced by injury to give up ski racing, which was his first love, Hamilton turned to cycling, showing enough flair to join the team that became the United States Postal Service. As the world knows, Armstrong not only recovered from testicular cancer to race again as leader of “the Posties” but won the greatest bike race. He was congratulated by President Bill Clinton after his first victory, then befriended by a fellow Texan, President George W. Bush. [Read the full article...]
THE BLEEDING HILLS A Novel by Wilfried F. Voss
I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith. - 2 Timothy iv. 7
The Irish War is officially a part of history, but not for Finnean Whelan, an IRA veteran of almost 40 years. British Intelligence has produced evidence that he is the mastermind behind a conspiracy to assassinate the First Minister of Northern Ireland. For Whelan this is not only a mission of revenge, but marks the beginning of a journey into the past and the return to the one true love: Ireland. [More...]
We are the only country that makes guns, including military-style assault weapons, available to anyone who wants to buy them. This is not freedom. It is a tyranny of death and destruction — a tyranny of which the National Rifle Association is proud. The Washington Post
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