NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD
The Secret Race is a definitive look at the world of professional cyclingand the doping issue surrounding this sport and its most iconic rider, Lance Armstrongby 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 anythingand take any risk, physical, mental, or moralto gain the edge they need to win.
Tyler Hamilton was once one of the worlds best-liked and top-ranked cyclistsa 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 stagesand 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 Armstrongs most trusted lieutenant, and a member of his inner circle. For the first three of Armstrongs record seven Tour de France victories, Hamilton was by Armstrongs side, clearing his way. But just weeks after Hamilton reached his own personal pinnaclewinning the gold medal at the 2004 Olympicshis 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 sports 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.