vive il campionissimo

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In the sport of cycling there are champions, and then there is il campionissimo. His humble beginnings, seemingly impossible combination of talents, and fierce competitive spirit are the stuff of pure legend.  Squadra Coppi bears his name with profound respect for the man and his many accomplishments. We are a reminded of this deep lineage every time we lock into the pedals, pin on a race number, and push ourselves to the limit of our ability. We endeavor to find the small piece of Fausto in all of us. 

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On the 50th anniversary of Fausto Coppi's untimely death in 1960, road.cc published the following remembrance:

      "Coppi’s palmarès speak for themselves. He won the Giro d’Italia five times – a record held jointly with Alfredo Binda and Eddy Merckx – and the Tour de France twice in three attempts, plus a string of one-day races including the Giro di Lombardia a record five times, Milan-San Remo – whose route takes in both Tortona and Novi Ligure – three times, Paris-Roubaix and the Flèche Wallonne and, in 1953 crowned his career with the World Championship.

In Milan in 1942, he set a world record for the hour, 45.798km, a distance that would not be bettered for 14 years until beaten in 1956 by Jacques Anquetil. The bike that Coppi rode to set that record is now in the cycling shrine of the chapel of Madonna del Ghisallo, near Como, whose bells ring out each year when the Giro di Lombardia passes by.

Had the Second World War not caused the suspension of the Tour de France for seven years and the Giro d’Italia for five, the likelihood is that Coppi, the consummate all-rounder, leaving rivals in his wake on ascents as well as in breakaways, sprints and in time trials, would have added still further to that already impressive list. Certainly, between 1946 ad 1954, he was almost untouchable, with the French cycling journalist, Pierre Chany, saying that during those years, once Coppi got free of the peloton, he was never caught." 

- Road.cc, 2010

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It’s a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don’t quit when you’re tired. You quit when the gorilla is tired.
— Fausto Coppi