I have only just read in Tim Hilton’s book ‘1 More KM and We’re In The Showers’ about this great rivalry. There is so much to it and Guy’s article here in his blog Le Grimpeur inserts some more little reported detail into the mythology.
Despite Bartali being only five years older than Coppi, much was made of Bartali’s role as the elder statesman and Coppi as the young upstart. Bartali was the traditional; Coppi the modern. (For more on the fascinating contrasts between the two men, William Fotheringham’s book Fallen Angel: The Passion of Fausto Coppi is an absolute must read.) There was much truth to this contrast. Coppi investigated all manner of dietary and training innovations, such as increased carbohydrates and lighter, more frequent meals instead of large and meat-based servings, as well as interval and motor-paced training. He stressed hydration, rest and recovery, and also explored the latest pharmacological aids (primarily amphetamines).
(and of course there are some great photos with cycling caps like this one of Bartali (on left) and Coppi.)
Thanks Rocket Fuel Style for the heads up on the post.