Bartali on the heels of Coppi _ 1949 Tour de France

I was lucky to quickly find this photo... in this case, I wanted to point out an interesting feature about the cyclists' equipment. In the days before support vehicles were available for an instant wheel change, we see both racers are wearing their necessary spare tubular tires wrapped around their shoulders. Coppi's bike has a full sized frame pump mounted above his down tube. Bartali's bike has a short compressed air (CO2) inflater clipped behind his seat tube.


If ever needed, that device could have saved precious time compared to a hundred frantic pumpings of the arm during an awkward roadside stop. In any case it could have saved Gino a bit of expended energy during "iI vecchio's" pursuit of the younger Coppi. After winning in 1938, fans were thrilled when Gino won again in 1948 - a full decade later. But, alas, Bartali failed to defend his title and Coppi would the win 1949 tour. I wonder whether either rider had suffered a puncture during this race?

  • Ezra Caldwell 3y

    tell us about Bartali's drive train!
  • Stronglight 3y

    Not sure, but although Campagnolo's Cambio Corsa was introduced in 1946, this looks like it could be a Super Champion Osgear or a Vittoria Margherita changer - from years earlier.
  • Peter Scott 3y

    Gino Bartali wins the 1948 Tour de France in July using a Cambio Corsa derailleur. I’m pretty sure he ran the same drive train in 49. However if you look at the picture Bartali seems to be using the much older Super Champion Osgear . Coppi is using a parallelogram rear derailleur maybe an early prototype of the grand sport. As my family hails from Northern Italy I was always raised to be “Team Coppi”
  • Stronglight 3y

    A couple of avid cycle history enthusiasts have kindly shared the following more conclusive information about Bartali's derailleur used in 1949:

    ~ According to Bill McGann, author of "The Story of the Tour de France", Volumes I and II, Bartali used a Cervino derailleur for the 1949 TDF.

    ~ Both Bartali and one of the Nieddu brothers (famous for introduction of the Vittoria derailleurs) had invested in that company. The company did not last long after Campagnolo came out with the Gran Sport derailleur [in 1951].

    It makes perfect sense that Bartali would use a derailleur in which he now had a financial stake. In 1951 Bartali was again using Campagnolo... Gran Sport derailleurs with bar-end shifters as seen in this photo:
    Gino Bartali by Stronglight
  • Aldo TdF49 3y

    One of Gino's 1949 TdF bikes with the Cervino shifter is now in the Bartali museum:
    Aldo R.
  • Aldo TdF49 3y

    This iconic pic is from the 17th stage, Briançon to Aosta (Bartali is seen wearing the Yellow Jersey). Bartali did indeed flat on this stage, and worse still, he crashed on the descent of the Petit St. Bernard, still some 50kms from the finish in Aosta. This is when Bartali has somewhat injured, and team director Alfredo Binda gave Coppi the go-ahead to ride his own race. Coppi went on to win the stage and take the Yellow Jersey, which he would wear to the finish in Paris. Aldo R.
  • Aldo TdF49 3y

    In the '49 TdF Coppi is using Simplex derailleurs.
  • Horizon Enterprises 2y

    This excellent book is about the tour of 1948,it's written in dutch by a dutch author.
    Literally translated the title is "we were all gods".
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Taken on January 7, 2012
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