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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 19 mins
5 out of 5 stars (642 ratings)
Regular price: £21.99
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Summary

Winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2012.

On a fateful night in 2009, Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle met for dinner at a restaurant in Boulder, Colorado. The two had met five years before while Coyle was writing his best-selling book Lance Armstrong: Tour de Force. But this time, Tyler had something else on his mind. He finally wanted to come clean, about everything: the doping, the lying, his years as Lance Armstrong's teammate on U.S. Postal,, and his decade spent running from the truth. "I'm sorry," he told Coyle. "It just feels so good to be able to talk about this. I've been quiet for so many years."

Over the next 18 months, Hamilton would tell his story - and his sport's story - in explosive detail, never sparing himself in the process. In a way, he became as obsessed with telling the truth as he had been with winning the Tour de France just a few years before.

The result of this determination is The Secret Race, a book that pulls back the curtain and takes us into the secret world of professional cycling like never before. It's a world populated by unbelievably driven - and some flawed - characters. A world where the competition used every means to get an edge, and the options were stark. A world where it often felt like there was no choice.

©2012 Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle (P)2012 Random House AudioGo

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story even if you are not a bike racing fan

This book tells it like it was about the doping culture in top class bike racing and how it was impossible to win without enhancing your performance. A fascinating insight into the top races and racers, making clear that those superhuman feats you had seen in the Tour de France on TV really were that - beyond normal human achievement. Tyler Hamilton comes across as a basically decent guy, and there is relatively little special pleading. The commentary by his co-author Daniel Coyle adds welcome balance. Just be glad that the Tour is so much slower than it was. Sean Runnette reads really well.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Enlightening

I'd just finished listening to Bradley Wiggin's autobiography and moved straight onto this one. Talk about a complete contrast of the same competition and hopefully shows how much progress the sport has made over the last few years. Sean Runnette narrated it perfectly and painted a brilliant picture of 'The Secret Race'. If you're interested in bike racing then this is an absolute must listen to, especially after the recent Lance Armstrong Oprah Winfrey confession. You'll be hooked and in disbelief of the cover up over the last 15 years.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliantly written and narrated

I have been a lover of the Tour De France since ITV's World of Sport showed it in the 70's. And since the 80's/90's have followed it religiously on C4 and then Eurosport. I remember the Festina affair well and how the cyclists refused to race the following day. I don't think I ever imagined cycling was so dirty, well not until this book. Daniel Coyle and Sean Runnette have turned this autobiography of a cycling cheat into a masterpiece. Don't get me wrong I think Tyler cheated for all the right reasons. He wanted to win and not get left behind and he wanted to beat his once friend and nemisis Lance Armstrong. The book is endearing and engaging and you almost don't want Tyler Hamilton to get caught, but you know how it ends. I'm really pleased his story has been made into a book. I think a film must be on the cards. This book is worth 5 stars any day of the week, certainly the best Autobiography I've read/heard in a very, very, long time

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gareth
  • Lincoln, United Kingdom
  • 07-11-12

The Truth Will Out!

Tyler Hamilton, pro-cyclist, Lance Armstrong team mate, Olympic Gold Medalist, Doper, Cheat, Human being. The book tells the story of Tyler Hamilton, how he became a professional cyclist, how he was one of Lance Armstrong's closest team mates, how he was doping on an almost industrial scale (but not quite as much as Lance, EPO, blood transfusions, Human Growth Hormone, Testostorone etc). I bought this book partly to get insight into Lance Armstrong (LA). Before buying the book I suspected that LA was a doper. By the end of the very detailed, but entertaining, book, I came to understand how LA had obviously had kept one step ahead of the other (many) dopers and in essence how his 7 TdF titles was as much down to his willingness to go that extra mile in cheating and in keeping the competition from getting access to the latest drugs and cheating techniques. It also reveals how LA is quite a bully, a ruthless one at that. But the book is not written as a character assassination of LA. It's the story of how a human being, made mistakes and how he has been affected by those mistakes. The moral of the book is: If you are going to live a lie, don't expect to sleep easy at night (unless you are one of those rare people who lacks a conscience). The author of the book also gives insight by speaking to and about other characters involved in pro-cycling and by the depth of research he has done which underlines the credibility of the story. Overall a very well researched and written story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

favourite cycling book, simply awesome!

A Great book letting you see the inside world of a professional cyclist, what you have to do if you want to keep up and win.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Incredible

Absolutely captivating, can’t put it down. Would recommend to anyone even if they don’t enjoy cycling

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Awesome book

Brilliant book. Tyler Hamilton is a courageous guy who stood up against the tyrannical and corrupt system. Really well written and makes you think 'what would I do?'. A must read.

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  • HS
  • 30-10-18

One of the best!

I have listened to a few cyclist audio books (Geraint Thomas, Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome) and although these are all worth listening to this is the most interesting historically (Froome second) as it focuses not only on the individual but also the doping culture of the time that Tyler was part of. It is a fascinating honest confession - Essential reading for anyone interested in the evolution of the sport putting it into a class of its own.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, not so great narrator

A fascinating insight into the world of professional cycling and the lengths they go to to be competitive and to win. however the book is somewhat let down by the narrator's style...would've been much better if Tyler himself had done it

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book. Fascinating.

incredibly interesting and gives a great invite in the lives of perfessional cycling and doping.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • 09-07-13

Wasn't a Fan, am now!

This book answers a lot of the questions a non-athlete would ask about why someone would dope. It comes across as being an honest account by someone who readily admits their own failings as a person. A very interesting insight into the world of professional bike racing and doping generally.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Matt
  • 30-04-13

The whole story of how they did it, frightening!

If you could sum up The Secret Race in three words, what would they be?

Remarkable
Energetic
Frightening

What did you like best about this story?

Getting to know Lance Armstrong and some of his teammates from an inside perspective. What it's like to live, train and compete in the top echelon of professional cheaters... I mean cyclists...

What does Sean Runnette bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Sean really brings the dynamic of living the story. He tells it as though it is live and happening all around us right now... This could also be because I listen to it while cycling in the mornings!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I didn't cry but I definitely laughed out loud several times while listening. Some of the stories were genuinely funny but mostly just quite shocking to learn some of the secret techniques these guys use to maintain their competitive advantages in the sport.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Geoff
  • 25-02-13

Is it moral to read Hamilton's Book?

What did you love best about The Secret Race?

Complete and shocking truth about widespread drug usage from the early 90s. Many famous riders are named in this book. But a moral dilemna given Nicole Cooke's recent retirement speech as follows: "Tyler Hamilton will make more money from his book describing how he cheated than Bessette or I will make in all our years of our honest labour. The situation requires the very basics of morality. Please don't reward people like Hamilton with money. That is the last thing he needs. Donate his literary prize and subsequent earnings from such publications to a charity. There are many places infinitely more deserving than the filthy hands of Hamilton."

What other book might you compare The Secret Race to and why?

'Its Not About the Bike' - It's about Lance, as much as about Hamilton himself. Maybe a bit too much Lance in this book, but interesting nevertheless and topical.

Which character – as performed by Sean Runnette – was your favorite?

Jens Voigt - "I'm looking at the wheel in front of me".

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

'Vampires in the Peleton'

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Don
  • 25-09-12

Tyler tells all

Where does The Secret Race rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Very interesting book, solid expose of cycling.

What other book might you compare The Secret Race to and why?

I had just read the Bush at War series before this and in some ways it lifts the veil on a world we only glimpse into much the same way.

Which scene was your favorite?

The discussion of how Tyler first came to dope

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The persistence of USADA to go after Armstrong was impressive

Any additional comments?

As a casual cycling fan I found this fascinating, Hamilton does not leave any thing out and should be commended for his candor. A really interesting read for any sports fan.