Remembering Fausto Coppi

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by sopas, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. sopas

    sopas New Member

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    Fausto Coppi, Campionissimo, Champion of Champions.
    This guy is in my opinion probably the greatest. Yes, I know Eddy Merckx has a better palmares, the best ever, but when I consider that Coppi's carreer was broken by World War Two, won his first Giro when he was 20 years old and his last when he was 33. He rode until his late 30's. Only God knows how many more things he could have won had he not lost 5 years during the war. He won 5 Giros, 2 Tours, (was 2nd many other times), world champion, hour record, and many more other races and records.

    Check video:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owncvjlG2Ws"]YouTube - Fausto Coppi - Ricordo dell'indimenticabile "Campionissimo"[/ame]

    Learn more about Fausto here:

    Fausto Coppi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    In 1952, he made the record climbing Alpe d'Huez in 45' 22". A record that lasted for more than 30 years!!!!!!!!!! Just to make you an idea, Lemond and Hinault were slower in 1986!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Today's best riders with the best doping, bikes, trainning, etc, etc, are only 6-7 minutes faster!!!

    .. and if anybody of you thinks that he just won because back then all riders sucked so much. Let me just remember you his greatest rival, a guy named Gino Bartali who is another great in the history of cycling and whose career was also ruined by the war. Bartali won the 1938 TdF, then had to spend 5 years doing nothing, and yet he came back and won the 1948 TdF, ten years later. CLASS!!!

    ... and yes he doped. So what!!!!!!!!!! This guy would have destroyed Armstrong, Contador, and anybody else today with or without drugs.

    Fausto, Ciao.
     
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  2. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Thanks for the link Sopas.

    Enjoyed watching Coppi climb : he was a phenomenal cyclist and, as you say, but for WWII he would have won a lot more T’DF, Giri and Vueltas (if he decided to ride the Vuelta, although given the political situation in Spain at the time Coppi was probably right in deciding not to ride there).

    His physique is what struck me.
    Thin as a rake and with, what looks like an elongated chest.
    Great pedalling action though.

    Merckx saw Coppi ride in a criterium in Brussels in the mid-1950’s and he has always said that this is what turned him (EM) on to cycling.
    Some of my old coaches still talk about the time that Coppi rode a criterium in Dublin in the 1950’s too.
     
  3. sopas

    sopas New Member

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    Coppi was thin but his physique was actually exceptional for his size. IIRC, he had a lung capacity of 6.5 liters. However he suffered from broken bones during his whole carreer. it is said that this was due to malnutrion when he was a boy.

    Coppi was that type of guy that transcended his sport. Like Ali in boxing, or Fangio in Formula 1. He was a very famous public figure.

    They should make a movie about his life.
     
  4. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Van Impe would have had Fausto's time on the Alpe had he not have been run into by a car that bent his wheels. It would seem as though his lead was big enough to threaten Thevenet's overall lead so the press car turned into a Mad Max mobile and took him down in short order...

    Armstrong and Pantani climbed the mountain almost 8 minutes faster... Yes LeMond and Hinault were slower in 86 but they already knew they had Zimmerman beat - no need to race. Herrera did climb the Alpe faster than anyone in 86, reaching the top 4 minutes faster than Coppi.

    That said, Coppi's win signalled the end of the longest stage to ever finish ontop of the Alpe.
     
  5. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    If he had the equipment and some other advantages not available in those days who knows what he might have done.
     
  6. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    You've also got to factor in the following : many of these guys were racing day in, day out.
    They very often had to wash their own cycling apparel.
    Throw in the terrible road surface.
    heavy bikes.
    Primitive gearing.

    If these guys were around today, they'd be top of the game no doubt.

    Love watching the old footage.
    Cycling was a very very tough sport back then
     
  7. Yakko

    Yakko New Member

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  8. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Nice one Yakko.


    52/46 chainring.

    Hard to know the size of the block (rear gears) : looks like 12-14-16 setup but I can't be certain.
     
  9. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't on Pantani's bike either. ;)

    I wonder how either rider would have done if they hadn't been taking drugs...
     
  10. sopas

    sopas New Member

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    Agree.
    ... and also these guys didn't get pay millions like the riders of today. Many of them were actually poor people but loved the sport. They used to ride stages that in some cases were more than 300 km long, and today's riders complain when a stage is longer than 200 km!!! :)
     
  11. sopas

    sopas New Member

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    Just wondering, does anybody know what is the approximate weight of Coppi's bike? 10 kg maybe?
     
  12. Yakko

    Yakko New Member

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    lol :D

    but mini me could have ridden pantani's bike!
     
  13. gtm

    gtm New Member

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    I recently read the new biography by William Fotheringham. Great cyclist but a very sad story. It's shocking how so many of these guys end up pushing up the daisys long before their time.
     
  14. steve

    steve Administrator
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    It looks like the back wheel has 4 cogs, perhaps i'm cross eyed from looking at the computer monitor for to long?

    PS - I love my 39x25 :D
     
  15. sopas

    sopas New Member

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    Wow! climbing Alpe D'huez with a 46 x 16 has to be tough!!
    Riders today use what, 39 x 17?
     
  16. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Depends on which riders you're taking about... Pantani's and Armstrongs big gear and out of the saddle lots attacking style - probably 19 and 21. The guys back in the 'bus die 50 deaths in something more like 21 through 25. Iban Mayo's attack a few years back made me wonder if he was going up in the 15 though...

    I don't think that the Coppi bike shown was set up for the Alpe though. They did have the technology to change sprockets on freewheels even back in the day... Some of us are old enough to remember about freewheels 'n stuff :p
     
  17. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    I think you're correct : there does appear to be 4.
     
  18. Corinna5319

    Corinna5319 New Member

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    Hi, everybody, I found some old paperback-book with original autograph of
    (Fausto) Coppi, written on the front side with blue ink in the year 1953.
    Now I would like to sell it, because I need the money for the work in a christian
    youth club.
    Has anybody got an idea, if the book is worth some euros and how many?
    And: Where can I offer it to gain the best result?

    Thanks for answering, I hope you do!
    Corinna
     
  19. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    You will need to find a document authenticator to determine the accuracy of the autograph itself, and to confirm that things like the ink etc. correlate to the specified date. Then you will need to locate the appropriate venue to sell. These things are often only worth what someone is willing to pay. Unless you are selling directly to the interested party you can expect to get at most 30-50% of the determined value.

    I saw an episode of Pawn Stars last night and exactly the same was done with a supposed Jimi Hendrix autograph.

    Good luck.
     
  20. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Gearing has obviously changed the way cycling is done in the mountains. Coppi's 46/18 (or even 46/20) would have been over-geared in the Merckx-Hinault era when 42/21 (or 22 or 23) would have been the norm. Which is over-geared compared to the 39/25 (or 26, 27, or 28) setups now in use.

    Records on Alp D'Huez over the years are problematic because there has been no official starting line.
     
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