1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellent and important research on Bartali's unkown wartime mission saving Jewish families, a bit naive cycling-wise,
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This review is from: Road to Valour: Gino Bartali: Tour de France Legend and Italy's Secret World War Two Hero (Hardcover)
Very well researched with masses of source material. Excellent on the life & times of fascist Italy, and on the personality & human story of Gino Bartali. His role as a war time resistance courier helping Jewish families is painstakingly researched. So also is the story of his part in delivering Italy from a civil war and communism by winning the Tour in 1948. Excellent detail and very authoritative sources in supporting these two important and previously little known stories.
However the style occasionally reads like a compilation of source material, and I found the authors' clear lack of understanding of cycle racing led to some naive (almost patronising) commentary on racing aspects which could be very annoying in some places. For example a historic picture of Bartali talking to Fausto Coppi who is resplendent in his rainbow jersey of 1953 world champion is just tagged "Bartali with another rider". Despite a lot of copy about the Coppi - Bartali relationship, neither the authors nor publishers could recognise an iconic picture of the Campionissimo when they had it! Similarly much of Bartali's racing success is glossed over in a way which seems very odd to any cycling fan.
So - very important, excellent and highly recommended research for the key stories, but sadly misses out on five stars.