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on 27 December 2012
Wow. I went into this book, because I read both of Lance Armstrong's books. I was convinced of Armstrong's innocence. Recently with all the controversy in the press I as this book and thought it was worth a look. Daniel Coyle said in his intorduction that he wrote this book as unfinished business he felt he had with Armstrong. He also said the one person who he would have liked to talk to about writing this book was Tyler Hamilton. Putting thes two ingredients together they have written an amazing book. Which ask hard questions, and puts the reader in the position Tyler we in. This is summed up in Tyler's statement "you worked out your whole life to get here then your told to get to the next level you have to do this. What wold you do?"

As I said book starts by saying it is unfinished business, the unfolds through the whole book. For Daniel it is at he was left 50 50 about Armstrong's guilt. For Tyler it is about getting his side of the story out there. Tyler's story is ingrossing. He starts out as a promising young rider doing well on the American cycling circuit. Then he moves to Europe and he is suddenly in the middle of what he calls superhuman performance. For a while he takes heart he can compete with the doped up athletes. He starts becoming privy to the elete athletes getting secret little white bags. Finally seeng his potential he is invited ino he club. "What wold you do?"

The next question to answer is if everyone is doing it doesn't that just make it an even playing field? As Tyler says with all things being even the one who works the hardest wins. Wrong it is the one with the best system of getting and adnimistering the drugs wins. In his case it is th Godfather Lance Armstrong. You see relationship between Tyler and Armstrong change from friends/lutenent to rival/enemy.

I honestly do not think Tyler hates Armstrong, I thnk the part that gets him and probably every other cyclist of he era is Armstrong the biggest named user is the one that got away with all the money and fame. As a reader we are given a look at be dark side Armstrong as well as his charismatic appeal. As well as the rewards of being on his good side then the danger and punishments of crossing him. The book gives some examples of possibly how high up Armstrong's influence could be reaching, and how well connected and protected he was and still is. A great book and a gret story, with real life drama. Get it and enjoy.
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on 20 October 2012
This is an amazing book and all of us who love cycling and sport generally owe Tyler Hamilton a great debt for the courage to make these extraordinarily detailed revelations. If like me you knew and reluctantly accepted something was going on since the 90's but wondered what it was and how they did it and got away with it, then this book is for you. Hamilton leaves nothing out, the how, the why, the effect and how they ducked the mostly pathetic level of testing to which they were subject. The level of detail is such that you really couldn't make this up, so dismiss any idea that he is omitting or for that matter exaggerating any of it. You slowly watch his relationship with Lance Armstrong fall apart and I learned more about Armstrong from this book than I had in 20 years of following his career. I never could take to LA but had a genuine admiration for his indomitable spirit, recovery and achievements. Sadly after reading this all that has gone and I now see him as the self-absorbed cheat he really was. Frankly, he's just not a very nice guy in any way!
I suppose unless you are a sports physiology 'nerd' like me it could be a bit of a chemistry lesson at times but only to a necessary extent, it seems to me.
As they say the 'devil's in the detail' and TH's inclusion of that precise detail is where this book is so different from anything you may have seen on this subject before.
If you are interested in cycle racing and endurance sport of any kind then you really have to read this; you won't be able to put it down!
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Right from the cover of the book, showing a menacing looking Lance Armstrong bearing down on Tyler Hamilton, the book is a detailed, piece by piece demolition of the Lance Armstrong legend and on original publication was the key tipping point for many people in switching them from believing in Armstrong's innocence to certainty of his guilt. With the subsequent publication of a hugely detailed official investigation report and then Armstrong's confession, The Secret Race has in some ways been overtaken by events.

However, it retains far more than simply curiosity value for it still paints a compelling picture of how just so many cyclists ended up cheating. When nearly all the other leading cyclists were already doping, new cyclists faced huge pressure to cheat too or get out and were immersed in a culture where cheating was fine. After three years of losing races to those who were cheating, Hamilton buckled and joined their ranks. Though he doesn't mention it, his own cheating then in turn helped set the tone for the next batch of new young cyclists, putting the same pressures on them to dope that older cyclists had put on him.

This cycle of pressure may partly excuse Tyler Hamilton's own record. But he did more than just dope. His record is one of cheating, denying it, lying, being banned and then going back to the cheating and lying. On that, Hamilton's attempts to cling to his 'but otherwise I was an honest person' defence are less convincing, for he carried on the lying and cheating right up until he had almost no choice but to confess. His subsequent full cooperation is only a small recompense that he didn't quit, confess or - even better - do both many years earlier.

Yet despite all that, his passion for cycling is infectious and his accounts of the racing, both legal and illegal, are thrilling, making this a very readable and enjoyable book. The actions of cycling authorities coming out pretty poorly, even if you view the allegations about Lance Armstrong paying the UCI in the most generous light possible. Huge increases in average race speeds did not trigger nearly enough suspicion and time and again it was the police and other law enforcement authorities who triggered the doping scandals though their diligence, and not the sport's own enforcement activities which kept on missing things, even with tests that were farcically easy to avoid.
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on 14 August 2017
This is a great read,the author is candid about himself, makes few excuses, yet is unapologetic.

And if you are listening to current athletes denying drugs claims in 2017 - well be warned thay you might just be a bit more cynical if you do choose to read this.
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on 20 June 2017
Probably the best cycling book I have ever read. Really insightful and makes you appreciate just how tough it is in the pro peloton. It exposes Lance Armstrong for the true character he is: ruthless, arrogant and no consideration for anyone other than himself.
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on 16 August 2017
Pleased with purchase. Not new but in reasonable condition.
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on 19 June 2017
Amazing book. Probably the best about cycling and doping
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on 20 August 2017
thanking you
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on 31 May 2017
A very honest account of what really went on behind the scenes, eye opening.
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on 13 August 2017
Well written disclosure of the life of Tyler Hamilton, a pro-cyclist riding with Lance Armstrong and his rehabilitation following his positive drugs test.
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