Fausto Coppi remains the most iconic cyclist in the history of the sport. For twenty years either side of the war his extravagant talent, combined with a unique charisma and human frailty, captivated fans across Europe. Moreover, he revolutionised the sport of bike racing itself, laying the foundations for the generations who would follow.
Coppi was Il Campionissimo; his greatness so unequivocal that his celebrity transcended mere sport. As such, both his professional and private lives were endlessly pawed over by his country’s insatiable post-war media. In deserting his wife and daughter for a divorcée in 1954, he traumatised Catholic Italy. Thereafter his life became a soap opera from which he was unable to escape until his dramatic death in 1960.
Herbie Sykes’s new book Coppi is a beautiful and unique depiction of this legendary cyclist, built around an extraordinary collection of hand-picked, rarely seen images and testimonies from those who knew him intimately. These images, some genuine masterpieces, were unearthed through hours of painstaking research. Allied to the personal truths of those closest to him, they reveal the man behind the Fausto Coppi myth.
This book strips away many of the half-truths and downright lies which have been grafted onto his legend over the decades, making it a very different kind of sports biography, and a must-have for all genuine cycling fans.