I’ll be honest and say I am not really sure where to start with this review, if you haven’t heard about Tyler Hamilton, Lance Armstrong, PEDs, blood doping, USADA, Travis Tygart…well I hope you have come in peace and you do not shoot to kill!
I have my own opinions and I will keep them to myself unless you really want to know, but suffice to say if 10% of this book is the truth well, it’s another sad day for professional cycling.
In terms of Tyler, the writing and the narration, it is pretty bare bones, he was a gifted cyclist, the best…prolly not, without PEDs definitely not, but he had talent, guts and heart in spades. But he couldn’t say no, went over to the dark side and was caught and that was that! Like most biographies the story starts with Tyler’s youth and his start in skiing and his introduction to cycling. The book spends a lot of time covering his time with US Postal but also goes into more detail on the subsequent teams he joined (and also doped on), his trip to the Olympics winning his medal and subsequently returning it.
There is a level of smugness from Hamilton, specifically at the height of his doping which essentially comes across as “well everyone was doing it and I was doing it (EPO etc) better”. There is a lot of detail about the intricacies of doping, the complexity and the subterfuge required, a lot of names are mentioned, dates and times etc. are mentioned, this either adds to the credibility of the story or the complexity of the lie!
There was a lot of fallout from his interview on 60 Minutes last year as laying the ground work in terms of publicizing this book but it also took the lid off of a whole new can or worms. See for yourself;
If you have any interest in cycling, the furor around Lance Armstrong, the US Postal Team and the other teams he rode on and professional racing in the late 90’s and early 2000’s then this belongs on your bookshelf (or iPod).
I have read a lot more in the last month or so on this and here are some links to some really good articles, posts etc that explain things a lot better than I can or want to.
- The Lance Armstrong fallout - questions, denials and doping reactions
- Lance Armstrong Applies for Martyr Status
- It’s not about the bike
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