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13.06.2014
It’s called The Secret Race, written with professional bike racer and former Olympic gold medalist Tyler Hamilton.
I do understand that, as a journalist, you must tell this story, but I’m weary of it.
I’m interested to understand why you appear to believe Tyler Hamilton, a proven and confessed liar, and not Lance Armstrong. I was wildly underwhelmed but not surprised to hear how lawyers and lobbyists and regulators and politicians have taken up the cause of non-truth telling in the story of doping and bicycles. The actual disease process (untruth) is systemic but it is carried by those who fear the truth and point fingers at the same time — and pay for cover as though cover were the dope itself. Daniel Coyle is the New York Times bestselling author of The Talent Code, The Little Book of Talent, Lance Armstrong's War, The Secret Race and Hardball: A Season in the Projects. While most have already accepted that Lance Armstrong likely used performance-enhancing drugs at some point in his career, Hamilton and Coyle go further into the larger phenomenon, taking readers down a rabbit hole of malleable doctors, blind-eyed team directors, and athletes who push their bodies to the physical and moral limit.
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According to Andy Hampsten, a cyclist who raced in the 1980s and ’90s, riders were only using amphetamines and anabolics, and both had drawbacks. Between 1980 and 1990, the average speed of a Tour de France rider was 37.5 kilometers per hour. In 1994, Tyler Hamilton graduated from college and was racing as an amateur when he met Lance Armstrong, who had already won a world championship one-day race. According to the book, one day in the fall, when Armstrong was still recovering from cancer, his friend and teammate Frankie Andreu and his wife Betsy visited him in hospital.
In 1997, just before a race, Hamilton says Celaya gave him his first “red egg” or “vitamin”—testosterone capsules. Because he wasn’t as fit and ready as he wanted to be, Armstrong wisely and luckily sat out that year’s Tour. Because of the Festina Affair, team staffers were often searched and couldn’t carry EPO any more. Armstrong won the “Tour de Fucking France,” a feat hailed as a miracle for the cancer survivor. Just before the Tour, team director Johan Brunyeel flew Armstrong, Hamilton, and Livingston to Spain to have their blood drawn by del Moral and his assistant, Pepe Marti. Hamilton again raced against Armstrong in the 2003 Tour, and relied on BBs when he beat Armstrong for the first time ever. Hamilton left CSC and joined Phonak, and Ufe began freezing BBs, a method he called Siberia.
During the Tour, Armstrong’s new teammate, Floyd Landis—in many ways Hamilton’s replacement as inner-circle friend—told Hamilton that Armstrong had called the UCI to rein him in. The Secret Race, a new book from ex-pro bike racer Tyler Hamilton and the author of Lance Armstrong’s War, Daniel Coyle, hit bookshelves this past Wednesday, September 5, 2012. But The Secret Race is about so much more than that; it’s the story of what life is like at the top level of bicycle racing—and about a life built, broken and rebuilt again. I first met Hamilton in 1994, when he joined our Coors Light Cycling Team for a short time as a stagiaire—sort of a still-amateur intern on a professional team.
The next time I had any interaction with Armstrong was at the 1994 Tour DuPont, the same race in which Hamilton met the future Tour winner for the first time. The Secret Race takes us from Hamilton’s early cycling career through team changes, his eventual positive doping test and on to present day. Having known and ridden alongside many of the other riders featured in the book, I was impressed with how accurately each was portrayed.


I was even reminded of parts of pro-cycling life I’d long forgotten, like the daily struggle to become as thin as possible while your body is begging you for more food—and what it actually feels like when you finally get to that magical level of fitness. Without a doubt, steadfast Armstrong supporters will be quick to dismiss Hamilton’s story as sour grapes. Tyler Hamilton zal een boek uitbrengen met daarin een berg dopingonthullingen die hij eerder deed over zichzelf en zijn voormalige ploeggenoot Lance Armstrong. Hamilton werd na zijn carriere zelf geschorst en moest zijn olympische titel van 2004 inleveren, die hij won op de tijdrit.
I’ll stick to THE LITTLE BOOK OF TALENT, which Amazon tells me will be here in a couple of days. I was weary of it too (when I finished LA’s War, I was definitely content to see it in my rear-view mirror). Was the USADA’s cry to “clean-up the sport” merely a disguised, personal witch hunt based on a specific vendetta against Armstrong?
Two doctors entered the room and asked Armstrong if he’d ever used performance-enhancing drugs. He rode the 1997 Tour and survived, while the French Festina team dominated the stages by using a synthetic blood called perfluorocarbons.
The race was marked by the Festina Affair, when a team car was stopped by French police, and 234 doses of EPO and other drugs were found in the trunk. We will not share your email with anyone for any reasonThere were elaborate errands, chores, and routines to securing drugs and disposing of paraphernalia. From then on, Armstrong saw Hamilton as a threat and that was the beginning of the end of their friendship. On a particularly dreadful day of riding, Armstrong grabbed Hamilton’s jersey by the neck and yelled, “What the f--k are you doing, Tyler?” That night Hamilton decided to leave U.S. Hamilton doesn’t know what methods Armstrong used, but “there was always the sense that there was one more circle we weren’t seeing.” He said riders have always considered Armstrong two years ahead of the peloton when it came to doping. But then, near the end of the first stage, he was involved in a crash and he broke his collarbone.
But 29 days after the Olympics, the UCI claimed that Hamilton had tested positive for transfusion of another person’s blood. The show’s host, Matt Lauer, focused his interview mainly on the book’s allegations that Lance Armstrong had used performance-enhancing drugs during career.
Armstrong congratulated Hamilton for his sixth place finish in the Tour DuPont’s prologue time trial, and me for the profile that USA Today ran about my role within the Coors Light team. Further, Coyle inserted other characters’ commentary into the narrative so carefully, that it almost felt like they were right there, adding a bit more color and context to Hamilton’s story. It was a bit like sitting across the table from him—or perhaps on a bar stool next to him—and listening to an uncensored story of his life in the sport. De uitgeverij van Hamilton heeft aangegeven dat zijn boek, “The Secret Race, op 5 september uit zal komen.
Daarnaast zal hij dieper ingaan op zijn, zoals hij het zelf noemt, gecompliceerde relatie met Lance Armstrong.
My independent verification of Hamilton’s account through numerous interviews with other riders, doctors, team assistants, wives, and friends. Perhaps, but the number of cyclists that have admitted to or been tested positive for doping has undoubtedly left not only scars, but gaping wounds on the sport of professional cycling. Mario, Lance Armstrong’s longtime lieutenant Tyler Hamilton claims in a damning new account. It boosted a rider’s red-blood cells so they could carry more oxygen, leading to greater endurance. Eufemiano Fuentes, whom Hamilton called “Ufe,” transfused multiple blood bags during the Tour—one per week, writes Hamilton. But when he performed incredibly well during a practice climb on Mont Ventoux that included Armstrong, he was summoned to the UCI headquarters and said he was being put on a close watch.


Armstrong won again, and would get his final Tour victory in 2005 for a record-shattering seven straight titles. BBs are full of a rider’s own blood, so Hamilton was perplexed and fought the charges, although it was possible that Ufe had mixed up the blood bags. This was the time before smart phones and Google searches, yet the guy had the equivalent of a major-league-baseball scouting report on me—and I was far from being a cycling celebrity. From his first races as a pro, to his decision to dope, to the pride of helping his teammate win the sport’s biggest event, to the detective-novel-style disguises and clandestine meetings, to getting popped, to coming to grips with his life, The Secret Race is an outstanding read—a real-life look at many of the struggles that face a professional bicycle racer.
But erase every single sentence alleging a connection between Lance Armstrong and doping, and this book is still an absolute must-read for aspiring bike racers and every fan of the sport. Guilty or not, this book fascinates and captures the sport in a definitive, albeit unflattering, way. There was a new team doctor, Pedro Celaya, who explained what a hematocrit was: the percentage of blood that contains red-blood cells.
By the spring, because he wanted to make the Tour de France team, Hamilton took his first EPO shot.
He’d crush the empty vials by wrapping them in paper towels and pounding them with a hammer, then flush them down the toilet.
Hamilton writes that Armstrong chased down the car, pulled the man out, and began pummeling him. Before the crucial stage 12 on Mont Ventoux, where Armstrong’s nemesis Marco Pantani would attack, the riders entered their hotel room to find their blood bags taped to a wall above their beds, ready for transfusion. Ferrari advised Armstrong to sleep in an altitude tent and to drip EPO into his vein all night, so that it goes straight into the bloodstream and then goes away. A former teammate, Jonathan Vaughters, said, “The deadly mistake that Tyler, Floyd … and the rest of them made when they left Postal was to assume that they’d find other doctors who were as professional. Landis, for example; and still others seem caught to this day in the shrink wrap of denial.
If it exceeds 50 percent, you’d have to sit out 15 days, according to a new International Cycling Union (UCI) rule.
In the spring of 1999, Armstrong assembled his inner circle at his French villa in Nice to map out the plan for the Tour. Postal made up a cover story and said Armstrong had a saddle sore, and backdated a prescription for a cortisone skin cream.
He got to the point where he could estimate his hematocrit level by the color of his blood. Two days later, Armstrong blew by Pantani on the summit, then famously let him take the stage victory—he had already won the Tour, ended the battle, “Lance by TKO.” Pantani had used up all his energy chasing Armstrong, and dropped out of the race after stage 16. It’s all taken care of.” According to sources within the FBI, a UCI official had intervened in the test and stopped it. During the time he rode with us, I seem to recall him crashing three times in just two races—and still placing okay. Motoman, to follow the Tour on his motocycle, carrying a thermos full of EPO for Armstrong, Hamilton, and a third teammate, Kevin Livingston. His ability to push himself past his own physical ability and bike-handling skills were undoubtedly the reason for many of his famous crashes and broken bones. Tyler Hamilton serves others with the example of standing up and telling the truth in a hard story.
When they had extra EPO, Armstrong suggested giving it to other teammates who were not in on the Motoman drop. Hamilton says he remembers Armstrong phoning the head of the UCI from the team bus soon after the incident and talking in a friendly, casual tone.



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