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Fallen Angel: The Passion of Fausto Coppi + Slaying the Badger: Greg LeMond, Bernard Hinault, and the Greatest Tour de France + Sex, Lies and Handlebar Tape: The Remarkable Life of Jacques Anquetil, the First Five-Times Winner of the Tour de France
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Random House UK (July 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224074504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224074506
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #342,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Italian star’s rivalry with Gino Bartali makes Armstrong v Contador look like a playground spat."  —Observer


"Admirable. Coppi's melancholy journey from poverty to superstardom is a cautionary tale of the price of fame."  —Financial Times

About the Author

William Fotheringham writes for the Guardian and Observer on cycling and rugby. He is the author of A Century of Cycling, Cycle Racing, Put Me Back on My Bike, and Roule Britannia: A History of Britons in the Tour de France.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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This is a very enthralling read from a great author.
Utah guy
Loved every moment, even though much of the story was already known to me through previous reading.
John Williams
A most interesting book about one of the worlds best cyclists, a true 'campione'.
Chris Ball

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Rene Vietto on September 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover Amazon Verified Purchase
I don't think you go into reading something like this without already being a bike fan. As such, it is an excellent, short read. The book takes a broad focus, looking at his life and biking exploits in equal measure. I personally would have loved more detailed descriptions of the races and equipment, but I think those would have been outside the scope of what Fotheringham was trying to do. As the only English language book describing Coppi's life that I know of, we monolingual-types don't have much choice, but I read a lot of biography, and this is a good one. Fotheringham does an excellent job of describing a mythic character in a level-headed way, never falling in love with his subject, but certainly treating him with deference and, when appropriate, pity. Coppi's is an amazing, yet tragic story.

Now write one about Bartali!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Blair D. Callicott on September 13, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Amazon Verified Purchase
Like any cyclist that follows pro road racing I had heard of Coppi, but this book helped me understand why he is still such an Italian hero and a major international star. Great read!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Amazon Verified Purchase
As an avid cyclist, I was expecting to devour this book. I mean come on... how can a story about the most storied cyclist in history not be a page turner? But as the chapters progressed, I found it harder and harder to read. I'm not sure if it was the overall lack of flow, or perhaps the emphasis on Coppi's personal life outside of cycling. It also became morbidly depressing in the end, but I can not fault the author on this. Coppi's personal life, after all, was painful in many ways.
In any event, I thought it was okay but certainly not as fascinating as that of McConnon's 'Road To Valor', the story of Italian cyclist Gino Bartali.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Utah guy on March 6, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Amazon Verified Purchase
This is a very enthralling read from a great author. Although I didn't understand the authors reasoning behind the details of Coppis personal life, by the end of this tradgic story the realization comes forth of what a total mess his life became. Very entertaining!!
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By Richard Daniels on March 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Amazon Verified Purchase
If you want to know about how bike racing was after the war and Coppi then this is for you
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Format: Kindle Edition Amazon Verified Purchase
Cycling the grand tours is tough, but not compared with 70 years ago. Not just a (true) ripping tale, but a social history lesson, in a highly readable package. Loved every moment, even though much of the story was already known to me through previous reading.
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Format: Kindle Edition Amazon Verified Purchase
It was a great read, I had a difficult time putting it down once I started reading it. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Amazon Verified Purchase
If you don't read Italian your sources of a general history of Coppi are limited. If you would like a pretty good "cyclist's perspective" on Coppi I think this more than does the trick. It has a lot of historical information as well as the commentary of contemporaries. On the other hand, and this may simply be my issue with Fotheringham's writing style as I have seen it in other writings by Fotheringham, it can, in sections, be lacking in detail, disjointed and repetitive. Is it encyclopedic and footnoted to the nth degree? No. But I didn't want an encyclopedia - I wanted the "story" of Fausto. To a certain extent reading this was comfortable, like being back in my early days at the bike shop listening to the "old guys" talk about the past stars of cycling. It is well worth reading - and as a side note, this and Fotheringham's book on Merckx both provide some interesting notes and perspective on the progression and evolution of doping issues in cycling.
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