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Museo del Ciclismo G. Bartali

Homage to a Hero

Museo Bartali

Champion rider Gino Bartali (1914-2000) was born in tiny Ponte a Ema and became a Tuscan cycling legend both before the Second World War, winning the Giro d'Italia 1936 in 1937 and the Tour de France in 1938, then after the war when he won the Giro d'Italia in 1946 and the Tour de France in 1948.

Bartali was especially impressive in the mountains. Seven times he was crown 'King of the Mountains' in the Giro. In 1948, he won three mountain stages in a row, a feat that was never been unequalled in the Tour de France. Orson Welles was on hand to shake his hand a couple of years later.

Wielrenner Bartali in gesprek met Orson Welles

During the war, Bartali used his hero status would ride through central Italy in his jersey, delivering messages for the Resistance. He was taken to Florence’s notorious Villa Triste on Via Bologna, headquarters of the Fascist militia and warned, but he was too famous to be seriously threatened.

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Outside the Centre

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by Bike Italia, Unknown authorUnknown author (ANeFo)