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?

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Taken on January 7, 2012