I finished the Secret Race yesterday by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle. I enjoyed it so much. Tyler Hamilton seems like a genuinely nice guy. He was a young rider caught up in a world that even though he was riding the best he had ever ridden he was being dropped. He was the best of the best and still he couldn’t keep up. He was an American rider trying to break into the European circuit and not making it. I do not condone these of drugs but I can understand the decisions he made. It seems to me that he was doing what he loved and to compete on a level playing field he saw no choice but to use EPO and infuse his own blood. Both made him faster and healthier. He did not break down as quickly. I found the book very courageous. It explains why the peloton was riding so much faster. It was not because the riders had become faster or stronger, or the training methods had improved or the equipment had become better. It was because doping was endemic. I believe that the organizers of the big tours need to have courses that are humanly possible, I believe that the testing needs to be done in a manner that is not easily manipulated – for example test between 10pm and 7am and randomly, I believe there should be greater punishment for the medical profession manipulating these riders so they can ride faster and harder. I also believe there should be more discussion about what is right and what is wrong. If taking EPO and reinfusing your own blood is going to make you healthier and prevent a riders body from breaking down perhaps it should be allowed. I think riders like Lance Armstrong should be honest about how they behave and how they ride so fast. It is not until the discussion becomes an open and honest one that sports like cycling will become open to all not just the ones able to manipulate a system .