2014 Book Goal: 52 (mostly non-fiction)
2014 Books Read: 1 (100% non-fiction)
This is it! After two decades of following professional cycling as a part- time rider and full-time fan, Tyler Hamilton delivers all the goods. His book, The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France, deliver everything cycling fans have wanted forever – the truth.
My interest in competitive cycling began in the mid-80s just as Greg LeMond burst onto the international scene and became the first American to win the Tour de France. After his run of three victories over a few years, Miguel Indurain of Spain proceeded to win five in a row – a feat that had never been accomplished. Indurain was an absolute machine… I hated him. I was sure there was something hinky going on as he appeared superhuman.
Right about that time, questions of doping and EPO (erythropoietin) usage started rippling through the cycling community. I was SURE Indurain was a doper. Although it was later discovered that he did use a banned substance, the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) agreed to not punish him for the infraction. I felt that the sport was suffering from a serious lack of character.
Fast forward to Lance Armstrong winning seven in a row and American cycling moving to the head of the class and something again was wrong. I kidded myself into believing the hype about “new training techniques” and “ground-breaking technologies” being the difference. I even believed that Lance’s cancer transformed his body from a top-heavy Texas football build, to a lean mean cycling machine. But in the back of my mind I always wondered. It gnawed at me.
Tyler Hamilton’s book laid open all the mysteries, all the secrets, all the inside scoop on what happens in the pro peleton – and Lance Armstrong’s camp in particular. This book was the most satisfying book I have read in a long time. It was an answer to a cyclists prayers – I am not exaggerating.
If you have an interest in professional cycling, you will love this book. If you want a story about stepping up and doing the right thing, you will love this book. Heck, I just can’t imagine anyone not loving this book.