Book Review: The Secret Race

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

The Secret Race by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle

This is a guest review by a reader known as The Race Radio on Twitter, the go-to source for information on the USADA action and much more.

The truth really will set you free“: the last sentence of Tyler Hamilton’s new book is a fit ending. For 300 pages Tyler and Dan Coyle trace Tyler’s journey through the madness of professional cycling during one of the sports most complex times. Coyle’s elegant style allows the story to flow effortlessly through Tyler’s career, capturing the ebb and flow of enablers, teammates, doctors, and DS’s.

Former USPS team doctor Prentice Steffen once said “Unpleasant people like Lance Armstrong dope and nice people like Tyler Hamilton also dope“. In a sport filled with questionable characters Tyler was always the nice guy. Thoughtful, polite, eager to please, Tyler was not the guy you would expect to be in a Madrid gynaecologist’s office transfusing blood to be used for the Tour. Tyler’s pleasant nature is evident throughout his book. While he gives massive amount of details of organized doping programs he spares the individual settling of scores. Even the often erratic, insecure, Armstrong does not come off as badly as he could. Tyler focuses on facts and details instead of character assassination.

There are a couple of central themes. The ease of doping is key. Riders talk about it. Teams support it. Doctors are there to help. It is normal, accepted. Bizzarro World. Far from pushers, Tyler talks of team doctors who gently encourage and enable doping. When it is decided that transfusions are the next step Bruyneel pitches the plan with with ease, nonchalance. Tyler points out that  Bruyneel makes “The outrageous sound normal– it may be his greatest skill“. In his first meeting with new boss Bjarne Riis the topic quickly shifts to how great transfusions are and what his doping program was at USPS. CSC soigneurs eagerly helped with saline transfusions to get his blood values right while a tester waits downstairs. The sport was a frictionless environment for doping.

Another key theme is the sense of being caught up in a whirlwind. Private jets, big money contracts, adoring friends and fans. This environment made it easier to ignore the increasingly irrational Armstrong, the escalating complexity of doping methods, and the challenge of telling the truth. Eventually Tyler is so deep in the lie he sees no exit and continues the charade.

Throughout the book we get a better look at some of the characters of the sport. The investment banker behind the US Postal team Tom Weisel is gruff, demanding results, pushing always pushing. Doctor Fuentes is scattered, chaotic. US coach Eddie “B” Borysewicz is spooked from the 1984 Olympics fiasco and warns riders against “Getting involved in that shit“. Dr Luigi Ceccini is a gentle friend who warns against doping but understands the need to keep the haematocrit high. On the sidelines are the guys who questioned the chaos. Frankie Andreu, Jon Vaughters, Christophe Bassons. All questioned the accepted norm, all were marginalized. Prematurely pushed from the sport.

It is disturbing to see the apparent extent of the UCI’s complacently. I am not a fan of conspiracy theories but Tyler makes a very compelling case for a special relationship between Armstrong and the UCI. The book claims they ignored his doping and did his bidding if the competition got too close. It is perhaps the most disturbing part of the book and warrants further official examination.

I do take issue with the consistent refrain that “everyone was doing it” as if it was a level playing field. As the book explains, it wasn’t level. Fuentes charges $50,000 per year plus large bonuses. Far outside the reach of a Neo-Pro. It is made clear that Ferrari is the best doping doctor there is and the USPS support staff was way ahead of the rest. Tyler’s program rapidly becomes far more chaotic once he leaves the team. In addition there is always the possibility of something new. While on US Postal Tyler had great support but there was always the idea that Lance had more, a higher level program.

Over the years there have been many books on doping in cycling. “Rough Ride” “Breaking the Chain” “Lance to Landis” but none come close to the level of detail that “The Secret Race” gives. It will be essential reading for anyone who wants to understand that era and wants to minimize the chance of a return. Ultimately Tyler captures the essence of his experience “It all happened so slowly and organically. You start out tiptoeing through a little bit of mud and before you know it, you’re up to your neck. If I had known where it would end up, I would have been on the first plane back to Boston.

  • Guest pieces are rare but so is Tyler Hamilton’s new book. Or at least it was as the publishers made reviewers sign legally-binding “non-disclosure agreements” to keep the contents secret until today. When Twitter correspondent The Race Radio offered to write a review whilst the book was still under embargo it was an obvious yes. Thanks.
  • Also the book and its place the sport and the maelstrom engulfing Armstrong, the UCI and others is something I’ll probably return to soon.

A list of previous book reviews is available here.

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{ 88 comments }

the irrepressible fairchild September 5, 2012 at 7:54 pm

This book review is well-enough written, but it’s unfortunate that Race Radio’s personal vendetta against Armstrong comes through during the review process. I have wondered more than once exactly what happened between RR and Armstrong to cause such animosity.

Simeoni September 5, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Re: “Irresponsible Fairchild”. Lol– Race Radio’s personal vendetta against Lance Armstrong–let’s see that list is sure long. USADA, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Greg LeMond, Cheryl Crow, Michael Ashenden, Michael Anderson, Dick Pound, Jeff Novitzky. they all must be lying and have vendetta’s againt Lance! I don’t know why anyone would dislike Armstrong when he’s such a great guy–maybe it’s because everything single thing that comes out of his mouth is a lie? Why is he suing the USADA? Aren’t they the ones who protect sport for clean athletes? Do yourself a favor and read up on your hero.

Chuffy September 5, 2012 at 8:27 pm

If you have the slightest awareness of the evidence against Armstrong and USPS then you would realise that your use of the word ‘vendetta’ is both facile and meaningless.

the irrepressible fairchild September 5, 2012 at 9:48 pm

I use the term vendetta in the following sense: “A prolonged bitter quarrel with or campaign against someone.”

Whatever the truth, non-truth, evidence, or no evidence happens to be doesn’t affect the fact that RR has little use for Armstrong. He makes that very clear in Twitter, which he certainly has the right to do. But leave that commentary out of a book review. Review the book – don’t use it as just another opportunity to criticize.

RR says in his review, “Tyler focuses on facts and details instead of character assassination.” It would have been good advice to follow…

Owain Glyndwr September 5, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Struggling to see what you are referring to here. There are two sentences in the review that could be construed as contributing to a vendetta – describing LA as erratic/irrational. Hardly a big deal though, and besides its unclear from the review if those are THs words or the reviewers. Odd.

robert September 8, 2012 at 1:01 pm

i’ve never heard of this Race Radio person before reading this. This is as bland and straightforward as a book review gets. Vendetta against Armstrong? Hardly apparent.

Seems as if fairchild may have a bit of his own vendetta.

Rolf er ren September 5, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Hi

I Denmark there is a lot in the online media right now, about Tylers years on Team CSC (now Saxo-Tinkoff) and the alleged drug use, with team owner Bjarne Riis in charge. Many of the Danish news papers, use it almost as evidence against the Team and the owner. But is not easy to find out was is right and wrong, in this story, when I have not read the book.
So what do you think, this story about alleged systematic doping use on Team CSC, as the Danish reporters tells it.
I know perfectly well that you can not know about Tyler tells the truth or not, but maybe you can give a little more objective view than the Danish reporters who tend to judge Bjarne Riis, too fast and hard

Thanks :)

The Inner Ring September 5, 2012 at 8:41 pm

It’s interesting much of this is now causing pressure for Riis rather than Bruyneel or even the Phonak managers who are now at BMC.

With Riis, several CSC riders are known to have used Fuentes: Schleck, Basso, Hamilton. Is this all just a grand coincidence? I’ll quote Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond books: “Once is an accident. Twice is coincidence. Three times is an enemy action”.

Riis seems to be a Zelig-like figure, a human chameleon, who responds to the system in place, he goes in the direction of the prevailing wind. If he knew about what his riders were doing, the chances are several other team managers did too.

Joe September 5, 2012 at 9:16 pm

There isn’t actually much management overlap between the old Phonak team and BMC. The BMC team has its own roots. It’s not an offshoot or reinvention of the former team.

Tom September 6, 2012 at 4:34 am

Ochowicz was a consultant for Phonak. Lelangue was a manager, Luchinger did PR stuff.

Mick September 6, 2012 at 4:57 am

Not to mention the money guy is still Andy Rihs… It certainly consider it a reinvention

Peter September 6, 2012 at 1:18 am

Let me make this clear first: As much as I cheer for SaxoTinkoff, and as much as I realize the team’s importance for Danish cycling, I sincerely hope this case will turn out to be one too many for Bjarne. I can forgive him for lying once or even twice, but the amount of insinuations and circumstantial evidence against him for organizing doping on his team is simply too heavy now.

Nonetheless, I can’t help to think that Hamilton’s ‘confessions’ are treated in a quite naive and starry-eyed way. I certainly believe that many of Hamilton’s allegations are true, but at the same time, we’re dealing with a man who has lost everything, from his career to his wife to his credibility to all his money.

To be frank, I’m afraid I think it’s well below the standard of this otherwise fantastic blog to run a piece like this. Sure, Lance doped, sure USPS was among the worst teams out there, sure Riis knew what was going on within his team. But why this unconditional belief in the belated memories of a notorious liar with so strong incentives to exaggerate his story?

My best guess is that Hamilton had a great story to tell, but in the midst of misery and grediness, he was seduced by the endless possibilities for creative additions.

Tom September 6, 2012 at 1:32 am

Peter does have a good point. Memories are faulty, especially in the details. Expect that there will be disagreements from other witnesses of the events. That doesn’t mean that they are lying, just that what they remember differs.

Steve September 6, 2012 at 2:46 am

Ripping off scabs, and hearing the truth are always hard.
Let the dust settle, and Lance will have another book in him to give us his story.

Don’t believe every thing you think”

Franco September 6, 2012 at 4:15 am

Hamilton’s co-author -New York Times best-selling author Daniel Coyle (who actually did the writing) checked everything that Hamilton told him with multiple sources. So it’s not just Hamilton babbling away.

RooBay September 6, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Hamilton is not without his faults and does have credibility issues but any way you look at it this book is a major point in our sport and needs careful consideration. This is not below the lofty standards of inrng but in fact right in the sweet spot. Only a Lance apologist would say otherwise.

As for all the talk about a vendetta, I couldn’t care less as to whether there is a vendetta against Lance. The issue is: what is the truth? Most people with a rational mind will find it hard to continue to believe Lance after these allegations.

Rick September 6, 2012 at 5:17 am

Riis is as big a scar on this sport as Lance. If it was okay to go hard after Lance (and it was btw) then the next in line should be Riis. Armstrong shouldn’t banned for life while he remains in.

beev September 6, 2012 at 9:26 am

i think we can expect an admission from riis sometime soon, say 2023….

Anonymous September 8, 2012 at 4:00 am
TheRaceRadio September 5, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Rolf,

I would not say that it was systematic but it certainly was approved of. Riis is open with Tyler about doping in their first meeting. Riis wants to know what USPS was using, talked about transfusions and how great they are. The team itself did not run the program, Tyler went to Fuentes for most of it. Tyler does write about team staff helping him with Saline infusions in order to get his blood values correct.

NaturalBornHolmer September 5, 2012 at 8:58 pm

There are a lot of hype theese days about Mr. Hamiltons book. But the question is: are the book fiction or the truth. I certainly hope Mr. Hamilton also deliver bulletproof evidence for the allegations. Ugh.

VeloVeritas September 5, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Don’t worry, given that a lot of what’s in the book is what Tyler told the Federal Grand Jury, I think we can safely say that there isn’t any fiction in the book!

The evidence for his eyewitness statements are that he says them, of course – but let’s see what USADA release as evidence in the weeks to come.

Adrian Miles September 6, 2012 at 4:27 am

At this point it might be good to realise that people can sue for libel and slander if they believe they have been, and given the allegations you could expect, if successful, to receive a large settlement. However in most jurisdications for cases of public interest truth is (I believe) a reasonable defence. The question then is not so much whether the accusations are bulletproof but why don’t those accused seek legal redress? Since truth is a defence the silence I think says a lot.

David September 7, 2012 at 6:12 am

1. In the US, Armstrong would almost certainly be regarded as a “public figure.” Hence, the truth would not be sufficient for him to win. Not only would he have to show that what Hamilton and Coyle claim is false, he’d have to show malice or negligence by them in making their claims. This is why defamation suits by public figures are are hard to win in the US.

2. The truth is a sufficient defense for those *defending themselves* against a defamation suit.

3. The form of inference you’re making here is logically dubious. Person S makes harmful allegation P against person L. L does not immediately reply to S by denying P. So, P must be true, or is probably true. The problem here is that this form of argument assumes that the only reason L could have for not replying immediately or at some particular point (when exactly?) is because P is true. How do you know what Armstrong’s values, motivations and plans are?

I saw the Bush administration deftly exploit this dubious form of reasoning at least twice. A charge would be raised by the political journalists. “Did the administration do X or not?” The Bush folks wouldn’t reply at all. For days. In one case I think it was a week. Silence. Meanwhile, the pundits and pol journos start falling prey to this form of reasoning. More and more people are talking about it on news shows and implying the charge must be true. Then, Wham, the admin. comes out with decisive evidence against the charge, making the pols and journalists look like fools.

(This is not a defence of LA, but rather it’s a defence of public rationality. So, unsnarl your fangs, you rabid LA-hating dogs. I believe LA doped.)

4. What do you need this argument for? There’s good evidence already available that LA doped.

PerMHall September 5, 2012 at 9:01 pm

I have a bit of traveling ahead, and this book seems like a definitive read. Great review!

David September 5, 2012 at 9:31 pm

“It is disturbing to see the apparent extent of the UCI’s complacently”

Should it not read “…the UCI’s complicity”?

TheRaceRadio September 6, 2012 at 12:27 am

It could easily be both. Supposedly they are threatening to sue anyone who says they are corrupt so I thought lazy would be the better adjective.

the lower depths September 7, 2012 at 12:39 am

then it would be ‘complacency’ …

Anonymous September 14, 2012 at 2:31 am

Thank you lower depths. I noticed that too.

BH September 5, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Been waiting for this for ages but need to get an American copy rather than the edited British copy.

JimW September 6, 2012 at 5:27 am

PayPal me some bread and it will be on it’s way Friday(next day off).
Let me know.

beev September 7, 2012 at 9:27 am

JimW
If you’re up for mailing a US edition to a Brit, let me know what this would cost – get in touch via twitter
cheers
@dwbeever

David Gardiner September 5, 2012 at 10:10 pm

I am reading it right now and cant put it down. Amazon has a great price of $16

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0345530411/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00

the lower depths September 7, 2012 at 12:40 am

$13.99 for the e-book …
and i agree, can’t put it down …

Jcoxbar September 5, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Can someone please explain if and why there might be 2 versions of the same book, one for USA and one or UK. libel laws?

VeloVeritas September 5, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Yes, apparently there will be a number of redacted names and scenes in the UK version, because of the stricter libel triggers.

Ronan September 6, 2012 at 1:55 pm

It’s interesting that people can purchase, say, a kindle version from the UK or Ireland and that’s ok, but the print version needs editing to cover the libel laws. I’m no copyright lawyer, but the whole notion of national boundaries in the age of digital press is surely defunct. If I were to purchase the British version, I wouldn’t be happy to know that I was getting a watered down edition.

Matt Rose September 5, 2012 at 11:03 pm

One thing that has struck me more and more is the constant refrain of “all of a sudden one day I woke up and… ” and I wonder. I’ve heard this from Vaughters, Hamilton and Landis. But other people like Millar are very clear on when they crossed that line. It makes me wonder how much “everyone was doing it” and how much the management of USPS told their cyclists “everyone was doing it”, and what else they told the riders to normalize the process and desensitize them.

The reaction from Frankie Andreu when JV said that he went to CA and they were racing on bread and water? “That’s crazy!”

The whole IM exchange from http://www.cbc.ca/sports/indepth/landis/instantmessage.html is interesting, but this part is the most interesting:

Cyclevaughters: once I went to CA and saw that now all the teams got 25 injections every day

Cyclevaughters: hell, CA was ZERO

FDREU: you mean all the riders

Cyclevaughters: Credit Agricole

FDREU: it’s crazy

Cyclevaughters: So, I realized lance was full of shit when he’d say everyone was doing it

FDREU: You may read stuff that i say to radio or press, praising the Tour and lance but it’s just playing the game

Cyclevaughters: believe me, as carzy as it sounds – Moreau was on nothing. Hct of 39%

FDREU: when in 2000-2001

Cyclevaughters: so, that’s when you start thinking… hell, kevin was telling me that after 2000 Ullrich never raced over 42%— yeah moreau in 2000-2001

Larry T. September 5, 2012 at 11:58 pm

THAT is the problem. Everyone thinks and says “everyone else is cheating” so the easy answer is “why not us?” As long as (exceptions for sociopaths, etc.) the general idea is everyone else is getting away with it, cheating will continue. JV made it clear that somehow, some way, that idea has to be discarded and racers have to believe they can WIN without cheating. Given the situation with JV and Garmin one would think Hesjedal was clean during Giro d’Italia 2012. That message needs to be driven home to all involved while at the same time anyone still involved in doping needs to be driven OUT of the sport. Mr. 60% simply outsourced his team’s doping schemes so he could always claim the riders did it on their own with no help from him, whether it was Basso, Hamilton or whomever. He’ll skate away from any sanctions while his Belgian friend, due to his control-freak nature will probably be sanctioned for his involvement – there seems to be way too much smoke for there not to be a roaring fire. A copy of Secret Race is on the way to my mailbox – should be an interesting read.

CensoredCyclist September 6, 2012 at 1:38 am

“I do take issue with the consistent refrain that “everyone was doing it” as if it was a level playing field.”

Landis also confirmed that Armstrong did not take anything that he and Tyler were not taking. It was really a level playing field amongst the top guys. But the neo pro isn’t going to have access to the best clean coaches and staff either , so the field is never completely level in that sense.

This book help explains why all the riders from the era, including Vaughters himself, continue to believe Armstrong was the best guy of his period. You can smear Armstrong all you want, but you will never be able to change the minds of people in the know.

Larry T. September 6, 2012 at 2:43 pm

I don’t want to pour gasoline on this fire, but “in the know” folks simply can NOT know how BigTex would have done in a world without doping. Didn’t he himself approach the team docs about getting on a “medical program” as they say? When high-priced dope docs like Ferrari, with their exclusive deals are involved, it’s tough to believe thing were not tilted in one direction or another. “Smearing” BigTex makes it seem that there is a vast conspiracy of folks out there wanting to destroy Tex…how and WHY would they ALL take these risks to “smear” this fellow if none of the allegations are true? I’m starting to think “in the know” means “don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up”. If one wants to believe Tex was the best of his era, no problem, EXCEPT because of the doping, we’ll never really know. That should be reason enough to want to get rid of the cheating, no?

CensoredCyclist September 7, 2012 at 2:35 am

That is a regular anti armstrong talking point, but it neatly forgets the reality that the top teams were already doping when Armstrong was impressing in single day events. If Greg LeMond had started his career in the 1990s then you’d be saying that he was a great one day rider but was not suited to winning a tour.

I’m always amazed at how poor the thinking is surrround Armstrong. Listen to the pros that rode with him, even testified against him. Not bitter two-bit haters who blame Armstrong for their own lack of elite talent on the bike.

Adam September 6, 2012 at 2:02 am

Tyler is an admitted liar and Coyle is an opportunist just like when he wrote his book about Lance. We all know Lance doped, but it doesn’t matter because he was still the best rider of that era. Who would we give all of his victories to? It doesn’t matter at this point. What matters is that the sport cleans up its act and we can believe what we see when we watch these races. If the truth is so important then I suggest we be honest with the next five year old that comes to us with their next finger painting and tell them that it is an absolute stroke of genius and they should do more painting when the reality is that they have no talent and should find another hobby altogether. That’s what we’re discussing here when we give a guy like Hamilton the time of day in regards to what really happened during his time in pro cycling. Get lost Tyler. You had your chance to tell the truth and you blew it. Same goes for any other fool who says they were not doping during that era. They were all on dope and if they weren’t they should have been so the playing field would have been leveled. As for Moreau, he rode for Festina, another bunch of doped up fools.

JimW September 6, 2012 at 6:14 am

There is NO level playing field with performance enhancers!
Seriously.
That is a false argument.
If lance didn’t have a pile of money would he really have been the best? He couldn’t even finish Le Tour at Motorola when “everyone was doing it”.

How do you propose cleaning up cycling without telling the truth? You think leaving it all buried will help anti-doping? There are no lessons to be learned there? Giving the biggest liar in the sport a free pass while all the others of his generation were caught sends what type of message?

In conclusion.
I think it is a stretch to determine a five year old’s future potential as an artist by ONE finger painting. It takes time to develop a sufficient understanding of the emerging creative voice that struggles with rudimentary motor skill and the conceptualization of depth of field. I would suggest a more comprehensive evaluation considering aptitude with building blocks, understanding the interplay of light and shadow and of course temperament(is the sippy cup half empty or half full?).

Gowers September 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Nice post.

GatorGene September 7, 2012 at 3:37 pm

“We all know Lance doped, but it doesn’t matter”…

If it doesn’t matter, why doesn’t Lance admit it?
If it doesn’t matter, why do people get so worked up about it?
If it doesn’t matter, why are dopers punished when caught?
If it doesn’t matter, why haven’t we ‘legalized’ it?
If it doesn’t matter, why won’t my doctor prescribe me any?
If it doesn’t matter, why didn’t USPS share their methods with every other team?

Adam, it’s illegal, unfair, and unsafe. It matters.

CensoredCyclist September 6, 2012 at 2:22 am

Tyler backs me up again in the velonews interview:

“Lance is one of the best athletes in the world. You can’t take that away from him.”

Actually, that’s precisely what many douchebags are trying to do, Tyler.

Interestingly, when asked by the interviewer to clarify these remarks, Daniel Coyle intervenes to stop Tyler answering the question. He instead parrots the anti Armstrong talking points about “best doctors and access”.

Mick September 6, 2012 at 5:18 am

One thing to clarify is doping transformed Lance from a world class one day racer to a world class grand tour winner…a “miraculous” transformation indeed. From a strong, power rider to a mountain goat… Yes, he was a talented rider… but they are a dime a dozen in the pro ranks… He reached a new level via (superior) doping. Doping is not level…people respond differently…doping doesn’t level the playing field, but is skews it in a very convoluted way. I am completely confident that without doping, (and the systematically doped teams) LA would be just another great rider with a handful of stage wins to his credit …

Gowers September 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm

+1

Touriste-Routier September 6, 2012 at 3:06 pm

You are missing some key points:

1) Lance didn’t become a Grand Tour contender until after he had cancer. Some have contended that the cancer (and perhaps the treatment) changed him physiologically. I don’t know if this is credible or not, but it is worthy of consideration.

2) The Andreu’s claim that Lance admitted to doping to his doctors while he was in the hospital for his cancer treatment. If true, this means he was doping prior to becoming a Grand Tour sensation.

3) One day specialists & sprinters benefit from doping too. See Museeuw, Zabel, etc. They were never GT contenders.

4) US Postal helped re-inent how teams contest Grand Tours; the complete focus on the GC leader, forgoing all else also aided Lance. The complete specialization and focus on incremental gains was also a factor.

To claim Lance’s transformation was because of doping ignores too many other factors. He was an incredibly talented athlete even prior to focusing on cycling (remember he was a triathlete first), regardless of his doping history. He also had one of he best support systems the sport has ever seen. Combined, this alone can yield strong results. Supplement this with the alleged medical assistance, and you have what we have.

cd September 6, 2012 at 8:56 pm

It’s believed he doped as a triathlete too. Steroids I think.

CensoredCyclist September 7, 2012 at 2:36 am

That is a regular anti armstrong talking point, but it neatly forgets the reality that the top teams were already doping when Armstrong was impressing in single day events. If Greg LeMond had started his career in the 1990s then you’d be saying that he was a great one day rider but was not suited to winning a tour.

I’m always amazed at how poor the thinking is surrround Armstrong. Listen to the pros that rode with him, even testified against him. Not bitter two-bit haters who blame Armstrong for their own lack of elite talent on the bike.

JimW September 7, 2012 at 3:00 am

Getting tired and resorting to cut and paste.
Surely you can muster a better argument or are you running out of material?

CensoredCyclist September 7, 2012 at 5:15 am

Actually posted it first under the wrong comment.

Tovarishch September 6, 2012 at 10:27 am

So anyone who disagrees with you is a douchebag (sic), whatever that might be? Fine standard of argument, probably turning even more people into douchebags.

Julian September 6, 2012 at 4:21 am

I was a domestique for a multi TDF winner. I don’t find anything untrue in this book. We all hated LA from the beginning. Our biggest problem with LA was that he found a way to beat riders that were naturally better than him through very sophisticated methods. My numbers naturally were much higher than LA…yet he won 7 times. The TDF winner that I rode for had natural numbers higher than me. Had we both used LA’s technology…God knows what we could have done. We all knew the truth from the beginning. But perhaps…we were the dumb ones…for not persevering long enough to find people like Ferrari that could turn us into Superman. Unless you were as deep as I was in this….I understand how difficult that it is to understand.

Adam September 6, 2012 at 5:58 am

We would all love to hear the truth from a legitimate source. Feel free to tell us because true cycling fans would appreciate it. Anybody who thinks LA was doing it on bread and water is brain dead, but when we look at those who stood behind him on the podium it is hard to believe that the best of the best were not on some kind of program. Tyler is not a credible source!

weeclarky September 6, 2012 at 7:35 am

Fascinating Julian. InnnerRing, perhaps you could ask Julian to do a guest article with more details?

AK September 6, 2012 at 9:33 am

Very interesting to hear from someone involved (I’ll ignore the fact none of us can check that you are who you claim to be). What i can’t quite get from this short post is whether you are claiming you and the ‘multi TDF winner’ were clean or on inferior products. I’ve always been curious whether anyone, ever, won the TDF without doping.

Bundle September 6, 2012 at 10:47 am

Well, a multi TdF winner whose domestiques are contemporary can only be the preceding one (Induráin) or the following one (Contador). “God knows what we could have done” would mean we it can’t be Contador (because he hasn’t finished doing). If it’s Induráin (who surely had better natural numbers than Armstrong), his domestiques were mainly Spanish, with a few Frenchmen aorund (two nationalities where writing in anything close to proper English is rare, especially among cyclists, even nowadays, let alone in the 1990′s). Well, Hampsten had a spell with BigMig in 1995, but it can’t be him…

toestrap September 6, 2012 at 11:06 am

Could be Ullrich if you award him some of Lance’s tours………….

daniel September 6, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Pretty easy to figure out who this guy is/(or who he claims to be).
Won a Tour stage; some of the big Basque races; domestiqued in 92, 93; never broke a bone cycling; DSed at Euskaltel..

Provo September 7, 2012 at 11:43 am

Julian Gorospe

Rick September 6, 2012 at 5:29 am

It sure looks an interesting book but not sure in how big of a hurry I am in to read it. I’m really getting bored of all the past doping stories. We all know it went on, we all know it was unsavoury, we all wish it didn’t happen, but I’m reading about it on an almost daily basis even when there is stories of current races taking place that affect present day cycling that seem to be losing headlines to the past.

Cycling has turned a corner for me … no it’s not perfect but neither is any other sport, but we’re much better off than at anytime for maybe 25 years. I still believe that if every sport was tested equally, cycling wouldn’t be the dirtiest. Yes you don’t want to forget the dirtiest era in the sports history but for the most part, especially in recent years, the sport has bloodied it’s nose in public and in the eyes of a quick to judge, easy to mock, main-stream media in order to fix itself.

These stories of the past will always be worth looking at and yes the downfall of Armstrong — which has been the biggest doping story of them all — was probably worth it, and yes there’s other bad eggs still involved in the sport who need the same treatement including an overhaul a-top the UCI, and yes books like this will certainly remind us why it’s important to keep on top of the cheats, but I think I’ll leave it until the winter, when I’m feeling bored what with little current action to immerse myself in.

Logan September 6, 2012 at 7:01 am

Just ordered this from Book Depositry, as Amazon were a stitch up on shipping, between 18-32 days to get it to Australia.

Looking forward to the read.

MikeB September 6, 2012 at 7:22 am

Logan is the book you’ve ordered the US version or the adjusted UK version ? I have heard it say in the forums that the UK libels laws mean some of it has been chopped out ?

Dave E September 6, 2012 at 10:59 am

I have looked at Amazon UK, Amazon US and the Book Depository.
The versions of the books have different ISBN numbers:

The UK ISBN Numbers (as quoted on Amazon UK) are: 0593071735 and 978-0593071731 this book is not yet published

The US ISBN Numbers (as quoted on Amazon US) are: 0345530411 and 978-0345530417 this book is published

The ISBN Numbers quoted on the Book Depository site are: 9780345530417 and 0345530411 which match the US version of the book and this is backed up by the fact that the book at the Book Depository is released. So this should be the US version.

The price quoted on the Book Depository is £14.82 and given that buying this book from Amazon US would incur a higher post cost on any of the three delivery options as offered by Amazon US; i.e. £16.08 for 18 to 32 days delivery, £19.02 for 8 to 14 days delivery and £30.75 for 2 to 4 days, I know where I will place my order.

Logan September 6, 2012 at 11:41 am

I have ordered the US version, the other versions are not out yet.

AJ September 6, 2012 at 11:58 am

The book depository site lists ‘Bantam’ as being the publisher, they’re the publishers in the USA . The UK book is being published by Transworld in the UK.

Anyone had it confirmed that the book on book depository is the US one?

AJ September 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm
Logan September 7, 2012 at 3:07 am

I was confused by that as well, but on the front page it has it down as 4 days to go for the Paperback and 17 for the UK version.

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/search?searchTerm=Tyler+Hamilton&search=search

Brad September 6, 2012 at 10:42 pm

That’s what iBooks or Amazon are for!

Rod September 7, 2012 at 11:59 am

@Brad

How do I get the US version on my UK iPad? Through iBooks?

Brad September 7, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Yeah, sorry, my bad. I don’t think you can without some sort of hack. I’d loan you mine if there were some sort of iBooks lending feature.

Dave E September 6, 2012 at 10:45 am

Can anyone help (maybe RaceRadio).
I live in the UK and placed an order for this book on Amazon UK.
After reading about the two different versions of the book the question I have is; will the redactions in the UK version be so annoying is it worth my while cancelling the UK order and buy direct from the US, or will the UK redactions be of a minor nature?
Thanks

jj September 6, 2012 at 3:27 pm

The mysterious Julian’s comments aside (I can’t quite figure who he was talking about?), it has been an interesting week in doping, er I mean, cycling. Hamilton gives a clear picture of the widespread culture, and he also makes it clear that confessing can be a breath of fresh air. He left the door open for Armstrong: “Like I said on ‘The Today Show,’ Lance is one of the best athletes in the world. You can’t take that away from him. He got caught up in it, just like I did. I guarantee you that when he started riding a bike, he didn’t plan on doing what he did. None of us did. You got put in that situation, you worked so hard to get there, and then you are thrown for a loop.” So he just needs to do it and get it over with. He might be surprised.

Brad September 6, 2012 at 3:29 pm

I finished the book last night. Read it in one sitting.

Three things.

1. If you’re comment starts with “I haven’t read the book, but I think…”. Stop and read the book.

2. When one person accuses another of something, that could be considered a vendetta. Does a vendetta necessarily mean the accusation is false? Absolutely not.

3. When former teammates, friends, girlfriends, doctors, coaches and officials all, independently, tell a very similar story about a sport, about a time and about a person – that’s simply the truth seeping out. As Hamilton says in the book, eventually we all get popped. Did Armstrong use banned substances and techniques? Absolutely. Is he also an asshole? Sure seems like he can be. Will he ever get caught? Depends on what you mean by caught. Will he stand in front of the popping camera’s, tears streaming down, weeping a confession? For his sake, I hope so. Because after reading the book you’re really left with a sense of compassion. Compassion for the athletes, standing at the entrance to the club, forced to make extremely difficult decisions that affected not only their own livelihood but the livelihood of those closest to them. Compassion for Hamilton and his confession, for his honesty and for his desire to move on, move past. And compassion for Lance Armstrong, who is so desperately caught in his own web of deceit that, regardless of the official opinion or Hamilton’s opinion or public opinion or my opinion, he has to exist in the anger, the stress, the sadness and the loneliness of his own corruption.

Read the book.

mike hogan September 6, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Julian, drugs or no drugs we are also tired of the ” he was an incredibly talented athlete ” When this ” incredibly talented athlete ” retired from racing, with Nikes full support , and Alberto Salazar pacing him, opening his gels for him, runs the NY Marathon in 3hr Most pro cyclist with a little training run 2:30 or so marathons, maybe he was clean that day. Anyway looks like a good read.

Damien September 12, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Not to nitpick, but I really really doubt the truth of this outrageous statistic “Most pro cyclist with a little training run 2:30 or so marathons” How many examples have you got? I’d love to know. This reminds me of that Paul Ryan guy in the States claiming to have knocked out a 2.40 something marathon.

Damien September 12, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Not to nitpick, but I really doubt the accuracy of this outrageous statistic “Most pro cyclist with a little training run 2:30 or so marathons” How many examples have you got? I’d love to know. This reminds me of that Paul Ryan guy in the States claiming to have knocked out a 2.40 something marathon.

daniel September 6, 2012 at 10:42 pm

You spoiled the ending!

TheDude September 6, 2012 at 11:18 pm

I’m thinking positively that the cumulative influence of “tell all” books, former rider confessions to the press, and the LA Story part re-deux via USADA, will result in many more revelations. Who knows, the new “fad” in the pro peloton may be to ostentatiously reveal the truth. LOL.

Quoth Museeuw:

“I am the first to admit it openly, and perhaps many people will blame me that I break the silence, but it must be: virtually everyone took doping at that time,”

“We must break with the hypocrisy. The only way to come out of that murderous spiral is to break the silence, the silence that continues to haunt us.”

“If we do not then the borrowing into the past will continue. Only a collective mea culpa is the way to the future.”

“In the 80s and 90s everyone knew what each other was doing but never said a word about doping. Using doping was something everyone did. Eventually it became a part of your lifestyle.”

“Because it ‘is’ better, now. Never before has racing been so clean, I’m sure. But that data is completely snowed under” since many of those involved refused to tell the truth about “the things that went wrong in the past. The omerta of the past prevents cycling from now starting again with a clean slate.”

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/museeuw-calls-for-doping-confessions-from-past-riders

CensoredCyclist September 7, 2012 at 2:44 am

Whilst I have RaceRadio’s attention, what do you think of Vaughters making PRECISELY THE SAME points in regards to psychology and TommyD that I had made in the past about Armstrong and the change of mentality?

Remember trolling me rotten about that, saying psychology had no effect on performance? You distorted the comment and used it to smear me as I recall. I just remembered when I saw those comments by Vaughters the other day, on the same forum.

The top guys and I think alike, even the ones I disaprove of for how they handled the Armstrong situation. Whereas the only person on the same wave length with you is Betsy. Interesting.

CensoredCyclist September 7, 2012 at 5:20 am

Just noted that this comment from RaceRadio about posting on CN

“Feel free to follow me on twitter, I do not see the value of posting here any more”

Not surprised about that. Twitter is a far better format for you since you don’t have to answer anyones annoying questions and you block anyone that disagrees with you. That’s of course why celebrities love it. You just post about a little tit bit.

Life is full of irony. You are so similar to Armstrong….but without the talent and success.

Chrisman September 7, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Censored Cyclist – here, have a biscuit

Jamie September 8, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Whilst the secret race does not give way to the full implications of Armstrongs future, its quite a moral dilemma, given where Livestrong is and what it has done for the fight against Cancer and for sufferers all over. This could prove to be a massive unintended consequence of the real pivotal nature of USADA & Hamiltons actions that finally open the matter up.

Lets hope out of this we see leadership change and a real dialogue on systemic solutions to the issues of doping.

TheDude September 9, 2012 at 6:22 am

Jamie. The whole Livestrong story is an intriguing conundrum in and of itself. In more than one of the previous blog topics here related to Armstrong, a number of commentators, including myself, have expressed “pause” regarding the tangible contributions to the cancer research community made by the foundation, as well as some potentially “foul smelling” connection with the for profit business concerns (e.g., livestrong.com, Radioshack, etc.).

“Livestrong.org is the site for the nonprofit Lance Armstrong Foundation, while Livestrong.com is a somewhat similar-looking page that features the same Livestrong logo and design but is actually a for-profit content farm owned by Demand Media.” “….traffic to the for-profit Demand Media site has surged, in part thanks to Lance’s promotional work, while the foundation’s traffic has remained essentially flat.”

http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/athletes/lance-armstrong/Its-Not-About-the-Lab-Rats.html?page=all

MT Dave September 14, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Real generals talk logistics. BB sabotage!

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