edwinhijmans (edwinhijmans) wrote,

Tour duels: 1949, Coppi and Bartali

 Let's make a small list of some of the greatest duels in the history of the Tour de France.

First of all, the legendary 1949 Tour, where countrymates (and teammates) Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali battled it out in the alps. All by themselves, since no one was ever able to keep up with the Italian icons of cycling. Coppi battled his way back into the race from a time loss of 30 minutes in the flat stages, Bartali being a little closer to the yellow yersey initially. The duel between these rivals divided a nation: between communists and catholics, between the youth and the elder. All of them locked to their radio's.

And sometimes you would see a picture in the papers, like this famous shot with the drinking bottle.

In the Alps, Coppi let Bartali win on his birthday, he attacked the day after and took the yellow yersey with a 5 minutes lead. He gained another 5 minutes in the gargantuan 150km time trial that concluded their duel.
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