Remembering Coppi

In case you perhaps weren’t aware January 2nd marked the 50th anniversary of Fausto Coppi’s death. Below is a pic showing someone has a good sense of humour.

And here’s a few images of the Campionissimo

With Cino Cinelli …


this is from his wiki page

“Comparing riders from different eras is a risky business subject to the prejudices of the judge. But if Coppi isn’t the greatest rider of all time, then he is second only to Eddy Merckx. One can’t judge his accomplishments by his list of wins because world war two interrupted his career just as world war one interrupted that of Philippe Thys. Coppi won it all: the world hour record, the world championships, the grands tours, classics as well as time trials. The great French cycling journalist, Pierre Chany says that between 1946 and 1954, once Coppi had broken away from the peloton, the peloton never saw him again. Can this be said of any other racer? Informed observers who saw both ride agree that Coppi was the more elegant rider who won by dint of his physical gifts as opposed to Merckx who drove himself and hammered his competition relentlessly by being the very embodiment of pure will.”

The highest point of each Giro d’Italia is called the ‘Cima Coppi’, a fitting tribute to Fausto Coppi. The 2010 Giro d’Italia will commemorate a number of 50-year anniversaries, including the passing of cycling great Fausto Coppi

An old-timer mate of mine (pictured below in stars/stripes behind the derny) wrote the following on Jan 2nd.

As I recall Coppi died in the hospital of Malaria contracted while on safari
with Geminiani, I think.
Hospitalized in Italy, the doctors misdiagnosed and treated him for
Upon his death it was a near riot and scandal, and it was a wonder the
hospital was left standing and the doctors didn’t entertain an early demise.
To say the tifosi were more than irate is a giant understatement.

As to his legs, they were impressive!
I was fortunate to have ridden the last races that Fausti Coppi rode in the
fall of '59 before his ill fated safari.
There was a small series of criteriums in Germany, - Berlin - Augsburg -
When standing next to him at the start in Berlin his thighs were very
powerful, he had a very large chest/lung capacity and long arms as I recall,
and yet he didn’t look out of proportion.
Unfortunately I don’t have any photos to prove it but I do have the programs
with all our rider’s names. All of us were racing and I as a “small” rider
was more interested in doing as well as possible and not too concerned with
The course was right by the TV tower and part of it was on the north curve
of the Avus Grand Prix car racing track/route of prewar Auto-Union and
Mecedes battles among others.
I remember sitting next to him in Berlin during the race and when he made a
move Coppi would arch his back slightly, settle down into the position and
drive with his thighs.
His bike shot forward and I remember having to go like hell to keep position
or lose a few spots.

After a while it didn’t make any diffference who you were, you either had a
team to work with or you had to fight for every inch/ position.
I got lucky and won a prime, which was a case of champagne.
I didn’t realize as a newbie that I wasn’t supposed to do that and a few
laps later as we were jamming around I was sitting behind Lul Gillen of
Lul was a very top 6-Day rider and rode these races as summer season.
He was also a most experienced and tricky bike handler.
Looking back on it he didn’t crowd me or make any hint of my beverage
misdemeanor, but all of a sudden as we leaned into a slight turn he came
close and kicked his wheel sideways by lightening up un the bike and kicking
his leg up quickly.
That side jump caught my front wheel and he unceremoniously knocked me on my
That sorta left me out for the finish.

The trainers at the hall told me what the scoop was, but that’s racing.
I had to leave Berlin and get back to the West for another race and left the
champagne with the trainers and hangers on at the track.
They said they’d keep it for me till I got back a few weeks later. They did
enjoy my wink wink compliance for their treat.
Give them a favor and it comes back next time you’re in town and need a
little help.

This old-timer is quite an amazing man himself. Still rolls out on his fixed gear, and I always have time to hear/read of his past exploits. :mrgreen:

more Coppi

Good read spirito. Just started watching stars and watercarriers last night. So awesome.

and if that weren’t enough, he’s only a pair of Vans and a neck tatt away from being King of the Hipsters. dude is a time machine.