Tyler Hamilton's Secret Race wins William Hill Sports Book of the Year

12 years after Lance Armstrong's It's Not About The Bike won, team mate's exposé of US Postal scoops same award

by Simon_MacMichael   November 26, 2012  

Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle win William Hill Sports Book of the Year

The Secret Race, in which Tyler Hamilton blew the lid on doping at the US Postal Service team, has won the 2012 William Hill Sports Book of the Year award - 12 years after Lance Armstrong's It's Not About The Bike scooped the same prize.

For differing accounts of how expatriate Americans who had made their homes on the French Riviera viewed the same events they lived through, Hamilton's book is as far apart from Armstrong's as F Scott Fitzgerald's thinly fictionalised Tender is the Night is from his wife Zelda's Save Me The Waltz.

Hamilton's book, co-written with journalist and author Daniel Coyle, is the third cycling book to win the prize in its 24-year history - the first being Rough Ride by pro cyclist turned journalist Paul Kimmage, who did more than most to ensure that Armstrong would eventually meet his day of reckoning.

Hamilton, of course, was one of the United States Anti-Doping Agency's key witnesses against Armstrong - indeed, its Reasoned Decision in the case made specific reference to the work, noting that it had "found nothing in the book that is inconsistent with the account provided by Hamilton in the lengthy interview he gave to USADA five months earlier."

It added that "it is clear from the book that Hamilton pulled no punches in describing in detail his own doping practices," and that "many of the statements he made in the book concerning the doping practices of Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes are corroborated by records from the Operation Puerto investigation," concluding that "Hamilton’s detailed account of Lance Armstrong’s doping is truthful, accurate and well corroborated."

Originally, the book was due to have been published - perhaps mischeviously - on 18 September, Armstrong's birthday, but it was released a fortnight early, presumably in part to avoid being lost among the fallout from publication of USADA's Reasoned Decision, which in the case of Hamilton' own affidavit covered much of the same ground.

Hamilton and Coyle win a cash prize of £24,000, a free £2,000 bet from William Hill and a day at the races.

William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe commented: “The mysterious world of cycling holds a certain fascination in the public consciousness  - now more than ever following the recent home-grown success in the sport.

"The Secret Race lifts the lid on that world and delivers a shocking and jaw-droppingly frank account of what it’s like to compete at the highest level."

You can read our review of it by Dan Kenyon here.

10 user comments

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Ghedebrav's picture

posted by Ghedebrav [1132 posts]
26th November 2012 - 20:47


To put yourself out there for all to criticise and lay bare your own mistakes, it is an honorable path to redemption. The floodgates are open and the flow of contrition has begun. History will show this act only strengthens the sport of cycling. It was long overdue and much needed.

Michael R. Smith

posted by American tifosi [38 posts]
27th November 2012 - 6:16


well deserved imo.

posted by Karbon Kev [683 posts]
27th November 2012 - 8:57


Maybe they could give the prize money to the Paul Kimmage defence fund...

posted by thereandbackagain [159 posts]
27th November 2012 - 9:26


Whilst his admissions have helped in bringing to light USPS and in particular Armstrong's systematic doping i would feel more disposed to Hamilton if he used the profits from his book in paying back the sport and the fans that he helped cheat.
At the moment i can't help feeling he profited from cheating and now he is profiting again from telling everyone how he cheated.
To paraphrase "Cheat me once shame on you, Cheat me twice shame on me!"
I for one will not be buying the book and i have instructed everyone that may be thinking of Christmas present buying that this would not be a welcome gift.

posted by SevenHills [176 posts]
27th November 2012 - 12:03


Brilliant and well deserved.

posted by andyp [1368 posts]
27th November 2012 - 12:19


thereandbackagain wrote:
Maybe they could give the prize money to the Paul Kimmage defence fund...

..and slip John Inverdale a few quid to get himself a new jacket. He looks like he's just come off the allotment.

joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [1096 posts]
27th November 2012 - 14:16


It's a brilliant book which spells out clearly the mad votex that professional cycling had got itself into. It was dope or lose - as simple as that. It may be wrong but you can understand how riders like Hamilton who have put their bodies through hell - yet can't seem to win - take the final step to get to the front of the peleton. Shame on the cycling authorities for not wanting to rock a corrupt boat by handing out weak sanctions to proven dopers. The world is watching and A-list sponsors will steer clear of the sport until they are convinced it's clean for good.

posted by LeDomestique [34 posts]
27th November 2012 - 14:21


Inverdales jacket is a disgrace and represents everything that is wrong with professional cycling. I for one will never watch the Tour De France ever again or any other Cycling event. I'm so angry.

posted by Dog72 [108 posts]
27th November 2012 - 17:09


I like the subtle stripes. Perhaps it was a bit fluffy and he decided to mow it.

posted by LeDomestique [34 posts]
28th November 2012 - 11:12