The Secret Race
- Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs
- Narrated by: Sean Runnette
- Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 09-05-12
- Language: English
- Publisher: Random House Audio
Regular price: $28.00
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Over the course of two years, Coyle conducted more than 200 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 needed 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 11 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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Alan on 09-09-12
Gripping and fascinating
I normally spread my listening of a book out over a few weeks but the honest, detailed and shocking story that is told meant that I got through it in less than two days.
The book gives an exceptionally good sense of how riding and doping at the professional level worked. The detail about the relationship between riders, doctors and the UCI provides a compelling story about what made professional cycling tick.
For fun I'd suggest you listen to Armstrong's It's Not About The Bike and then listen to this book. The image Lance portrays of himself in the former and the picture painted of him by Tyler could not be more different.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
By Sarah on 09-16-12
If you could sum up The Secret Race in three words, what would they be?
This audio book was eye opening, well written, well read, and clear to those who are not involved in the cycling sport. Fantastic! Could not stop listening once I started.
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Secret Race?
The sheer honesty through out the entire book. So human with so much emotion. So real and yet so unbelievable.
Which scene was your favorite?
The detail and description he was able to recount in his recount of personal stories.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Yes.....both. Absolutely amazing.....felt like I was in this world of cycling with Tyler.
Any additional comments?
A must listen!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful