Friday, May 17, 2013

Secret Race - One Thought

I had started a blog about The Secret Race, Tyler Hamilton & Daniel Coyle's tell-all book about doping during what is referred to as the Lance Armstrong era.

It is, I believe, an honest attempt to communicate what was going on behind the scenes during those years, both when Hamilton rode with and rode against Armstrong,  It is a very good book and the appropriate companion piece to Daniel Coyle's earlier book, Armstrong's War, in which some things are implied but never said.

Too much time has passed for me to detail too much or too long my thoughts on the book, but one passage stood out to me which held the inexorable truth of cycling at every age.  I have copied it here.
Cecco had short gray hair and big, perceptive eyes; he looked a little bit like Pablo Picasso. He also had a revolutionary and refreshing attitude about doping, which is to say he encouraged me to dope as little as possible. He never gave me any Edgar; never handed me so much as an aspirin, because Cecco believed that most riders dope far, far too much. Insulin, testosterone patches, anabolics – bah! To win the Tour, you need only three qualities.

You have to be very, very fit.
You have to be very, very skinny.
You have to keep your hematocrit up.
Of course, how one goes about keeping up one's hematocrit, that is another story, eh?  Dr. Spalm jokes about riding a lot, not eating much and taking vitamins.  It looks similar to the view from the top.

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