Fausto Coppi

This remarkable image capturing the true spirit of LeTour has been created by Artist James Straffon for the 100 day cultural festival of Yorkshire. The original production hangs outside The Factory building at Poliform North in Harrogate’s town centre and 200mtrs from the finish line of day one The Grand Depart Yorkshire.  To withstand the Yorkshire climate, the original 8 images are produced in a high quality polymeric self-adhesive vinyl. Finished with an exterior grade satin laminate. Mounted onto a premium grade 3mm thick aluminium composite. Complete with print wrapped edges giving a superior finish with longevity. Its dimensions are in two parts each part being 1250mm x2500mm and totalling 2500mm x 2500mm face fixed with coach bolts.

Original set of 8 @ 2500mm x 2500mm are to be auctioned on Saturday 5th July to raise funds for The Dave Rayner foundation and Yorkshire Air Ambulance.  To register your interest or to place a bid, please contact sag@stephenneall.co.uk.

These creations can also be purchased in the following formats:
2500mm x 2500mm signed originals £ by auction.
1500mm x 1500mm signed Limited Edition of 5.
400mm x 500mm signed limited edition of 9 Framed stencils.
T-shirts in white with multiple image panel.

Angelo Fausto Coppi was the dominant international cyclist of the years each side of the Second World War. His successes earned him the title Il Campionissimo, or champion of champions. He was an all-round racing cyclist: he excelled in both climbing and time trialing, and was also a great sprinter.

Coppi had poor health as a child and showed little interest in school. In 1927 he was condemned to write “I ought to be at school, not riding my bicycle” after skipping lessons to spend the day riding a family bike he had found in a cellar, rusty and without brake blocks. He left school at 13 to work for Domenico Merlani, a butcher in Novi Ligure more widely known as Signor Ettore.

Cycling to and from the shop and meeting cyclists who came there interested him in racing. The money to buy a bike came from his uncle, also called Fausto Coppi, and his father.

When Fausto won and you wanted to check the time gap to the man in second place, you didn’t need a Swiss stopwatch. The bell of the church clock tower would do the job just as well. Paris –Roubaix?  Milan – San Remo?  Lombardy? We’re talking 10 minutes to a quarter of an hour. That’s how Fausto Coppi was.

His first large success was in 1940, winning the Giro d’Italia at the age of 20. In 1942 he set a world hour record (45.798 km at the Velodromo Vigorelli in Milan) which stood for 14 years until it was broken by Jacques Anquetil in 1956. His career was then interrupted by the Second World War. In 1946 he resumed racing and achieved remarkable successes which would be exceeded only by Eddy Merckx. The veteran writer Pierre Chany said that from 1946 to 1954 Coppi was never once re-caught once he had broken away from the rest.

Twice, 1949 and 1952, Coppi won the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in the same year, the first to do so. He won the Giro five times, a record shared with Alfredo Binda and Eddy Merckx. During 1949′s Giro he left Gino Bartali by 11 minutes between Cuneo and Pinerolo. Coppi won the 1949 Tour de France by almost half an hour over everyone except Bartali. From the start of the mountains in the Pyrenees to their end in the Alps, Coppi took back the 55 minutes by which Jacques Marinelli led him.

He won the Giro di Lombardia a record five times (1946, 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1954). He won Milan – San Remo three times (1946, 1948 and 1949). In the 1946 Milan – San Remo he attacked with nine others, five kilometres into a race of 292 km. He dropped the rest on the Turchino climb and won by 14 minutes. He also won Paris–Roubaix and La Flèche Wallonne (1950). He was also 1953 world road champion.

In 1952 Coppi won on the Alpe d’Huez, which had been included for the first time that year. He attacked six kilometres from the summit to rid himself of the French rider, Jean Robic. Coppi said: “I knew he was no longer there when I couldn’t hear his breathing any more or the sound of his tyres on the road behind me.” He rode like “a Martian on a bicycle”, said Raphaël Géminiani. “I saw a phenomenal rider that day.”  Coppi won the Tour by 28m 27s and the organiser, Jacques Goddet, had to double the prizes for lower placings to keep other riders interested.  It was his last Tour, having ridden three and won two.