Are you a fan of cycling and Gino Bartali in particular? Then put yourself to the test with our quiz! Bartali was one of the greatest Italian cyclists of all time, winner of three Giro d'Italia and two Tour de France. But how much do you really know about his life and career? Take our quiz to find out!
Cyclist Gino Bartali: the legend of Italian cycling
If there is one name that represents Italian cycling, it is surely Gino Bartali. Born in Ponte a Ema, Tuscany, on July 18, 1914, Bartali was one of the greatest cyclists of all time, winning three Giro d'Italia, two Tour de France and a Coppa Bernocchi.
But his life was not just about sporting success. During World War II, in fact, Bartali played an important role in the Italian resistance, using his role as a cyclist to transport secret Jewish documents and help save many lives.
But let's go in order. Gino Bartali began racing bicycles at the age of 13, and as early as 20 he won his first Giro d'Italia. From then on, his career was studded with successes, although there was no shortage of difficult moments, such as a crash during the 1937 Tour de France, which forced him to retire.
But the most difficult moment in his life came during World War II. Bartali, who was married and had two children, did not just race his bicycle, but decided to use his fame to help Jews persecuted by the fascist regime. In particular, Bartali was involved in the rescue operation of false documents for Jews, which were hidden in the barrel of his bicycle.
Through this activity, Bartali managed to save many lives, and for this he was recognized as a "Righteous Among the Nations" by Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial authority.
But back to sports. In 1948, at the age of 34, Bartali won his third Giro d'Italia, in one of the most exciting competitions in the history of Italian cycling. Bartali, who was considered "old" to the cycling world, managed to beat the young Fausto Coppi, his archrival.
But the rivalry between Bartali and Coppi was not just a sporting one. The two cyclists represented two different visions of postwar Italy: Bartali was a religious and conservative man, while Coppi was an atheist and a progressive. Despite this, the two champions always respected each other, and at the end of their careers they reconciled.
Gino Bartali died on May 5, 2000, at the age of 85. But his figure remains to this day an example of courage, humanity and sportsmanship. Bartali was not only a great cycling champion, but also a hero of the Italian resistance and a man who was able to put his fame at the service of others.
Ultimately, Gino Bartali's life is an example of how sport can be an opportunity to do good, to help others and to build a better world. A lesson that, even today, can teach us much.