Gino Bartali ( pictures ) was born in Ponte a Ema, near Florence, on July 14th 1914 and dead in Florence on May 5th, 2000.
His professional cycling career was one of the longest and successful in history, and , as Fausto Coppi's career, was interupted World War Two, just in his better years.
Gino Bartali was probably the most famous and proud rival of Fausto Coppi (not only in Italy) and they ,with their battles, wrote some of the most famous pages in the history of bicycle races.
One of the most famous episode was written at the 1949 Tour de France , when they demonstrated to be the greatest riders of their age: Fausto Coppi won the race, and Bartali arrived second, but the fight (in the first half of the Tour) and the cooperation in the second half between them was legendary.
And historical (and curious) is the famous picture with the bottle: (here) is Bartali giving the bottle to Coppi or is Coppi giving it to Bartali ??
This is an unresolved question, also because it seems that this happened more than once, during different races
These are the most important victories in Gino Bartali's career:
Italian Championship : 1935,1937,1940,1952
Giro d'Italia: 1936,1937,1946
Tour de France: 1938,1948
Tour of Switzerland: 1946,1947
Tour of Lombardy: 1936,1939,1940
Championship of Zurich : 1946,1948