The Secret Race wins William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2012
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The Secret Race wins William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2012

27th November 2012

An explosive expose of the hidden world of the Tour de France has won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award for 2012.

The Secret Race, by former US Olympic gold medallist and Tour rider Tyler Hamilton and ghostwriter Daniel Coyle, is a damning indictment of the doping, double-dealing and cover-ups surrounding Lance Armstrong, Tyler's one-time teammate.

It is the third book about cycling to have won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award in the prize's 24-year history, after Paul Kimmage's Rough Ride in 1989 and Armstrong's It's Not About the Bike in 2000.

The Secret Race, praised by prize judge John Inverdale as a 'landmark publication', triumphed over a shortlist of six other titles, including Miles Jupp's Fibber in the Heat, the tale of how he bluffed his way into the cricket press corps during a 2006 Test series in India, and former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan's Be Careful What You Wish For, a blow-by-blow account of his time running the club.

The winning title was announced in London yesterday. Hamilton and Coyle received a GBP 24,000 cash prize, a free GBP 2,000 bet with William Hill, a specially commissioned hand-bound copy of their book and a day at the races.

Hamilton was one of the world's leading cyclists and a teammate of Armstrong on the US Postal Service cycling team during the 1999, 2000 and 2001 Tour de France competitions. He won a gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games and was exiled from the sport just days later after being found guilty of doping.

In 2009 Hamilton met with writer Coyle and revealed he wanted to come clean. Over the next 18 months, The Secret Race was crafted.

Speaking about this win, Hamilton said: 'This is really special. I'm really proud of writing this book but not what's in there. But it's the truth and the truth needed to be told.'

The other titles on this year's shortlist included Rick Broadbent's account of the world's most dangerous motorcycle race, That Near Death ThingAdharanand Finn's Running with the Kenyans, A Life Without Limits by Chrissie Wellington and Shot and a Ghost: A Year in the Brutal World of Professional Squash by James Willstrop.

Previous winners of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year include Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby, A Social History of English Cricket by Derek Birley and Coming Back to Me: The Autobiography by Marcus Trescothick.

© W&G Foyle Ltd