Coyle, Daniel & Hamilton, Tyler
Bantam Books. New York. 2012.
I’ve lost count of the number of times The Secret Race was recommended to me, after I had read it. Co-authored by Daniel Coyle, this mostly first person history of Tyler Hamilton’s experiences with performance enhancing drugs in the peleton is quite possibly the most forthcoming account of drug use in professional cycling we’ve yet seen. It’s not always easy to stomach, and of course there’s no way to know just how truthful or complete Tyler’s side of this story is, but most fellow skeptics seem to agree, the exhaustive details make a lot of sense, and are too deep and interconnected not to believe.
By Lance Armstrong’s third TdF win, I was one who believed most successful professional bicycle racers were at least occasionally guilty of drug use, particularly Mr. Armstrong. That’s not meant to be an I told you so, as for the most part I don’t care, but it may help to illustrate just why I’ve been rather bored with the controversies over the years. I don’t like it, and certainly never approved, but it hasn’t interested me much either. This book has, so far, been the only exception. Once I started reading it, I was as hooked into the story as anyone. The excellent writing certainly doesn’t hurt.
Speaking of the writing, my partner Diane interviewed the author, Dan Coyle, on her Outspoken Cyclist Radio show, back on October 6 of 2012. He happens to live, at least part of the year, here in northeast Ohio.