The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs

The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs

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.

Title:The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780345530417
Format Type:

    The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs Reviews

  • Jaclyn Day

    I knew I would have to read this book after I saw this article (http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-...) on Outside Magazine. I bought it the day it came out and have spent every spare moment reading...

  • Phillip Kim

    As an avid cyclist who has followed the sport for the past quarter century, I was saddened and moved, but not shocked, by this book. The recent histories of Lance Armstrong, Tyler Hamilton and that of...

  • Andrew Smith

    This book really does explain how (and how much) doping went on at the time Lance Armstrong was taking the cycling world by storm in winning the Tour de France seven times. It's told in a pretty matte...

  • ? Marlene?

    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...

  • Steve

    So glad I ... finally ... got around to reading this (and, frankly, it's inexcusable that I hadn't read it previously). Yes, yes, my favorite bad weather cycling jacket is now a collector's item - a T...

  • Jonathan

    Surprisingly well-written!Tyler's voice doesn't come across as whiny or self-pitying. Instead you get a gripping, clear-eyed view into The Decision, The Descent, and The Consequences. I remember watch...

  • James

    I'm an amateur cyclist, but follow international pro racing with great interest. Of course, the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs is a hot topic, and the author, Tyler Hamilton was one of the...

  • Bren

    “People think doping is for lazy people who want to avoid hard work. That might be true in some cases, but in mine, as with many riders I knew, it was precisely the opposite. EPO granted the ability...

  • Doug

    First I feel like I have to make full disclosure; Before yellow wristbands, before Tour de France victories, before cancer, before the 1993 World Cycling Championships, even before the 1992 Olympics, ...

  • Kevin Hollins

    After I closed the book (after reading it in one sitting), my final thought was: even if half of it is a complete fabrication, I don't see how any open minded person could come away thinking that Lanc...