Fallen Angel – The Passion of Fausto Coppi
A remarkable biography of one of history’s greatest cyclists—a man who lived a tumultous life, and was voted the most popular Italian sportsman of the 20th century
Fausto Angelo Coppi was the campionissimo, or champion of champions, and this is the tragic story of his life and death, and how a man who became the symbol of a nation’s rebirth after the disasters of war died reviled and heartbroken. The greatest cyclist of the immediate post-war years, he was the first man to win cycling’s great double, the Tour de France and Tour of Italy, in the same year—and he did it twice. He achieved mythical status for his crushing solo victories, world titles and world records. But his significance extends far beyond his sport. Coppi’s scandalous divorce and controversial early death convulsed a conservative, staunchly Roman Catholic Italy in the 1950s. At a time when adultery was still illegal, Coppi and his lover were dragged from their bed in the middle of the night, excommunicated, and forced to face a clamorous legal battle, the ramifications of which are still being felt today. Told with insight and intelligence, this is a unique portrait of Italy and Italian sport at a time of tumultuous change.