Fausto first came to fame with a third place in the 1939 Tour of Piedmont. The following season, he joined the Bartali team and won his first Giro race at the age of 20. With his thin face, lean body, narrow chest and extremely long legs, Coppi was well made to be a cyclist; he was also fortunate in that his cardiac rhythm was particularly slow, and his exploits number among the finest in the history of cycle racing. His fierce battles with Bartali between 1946 and 1951 are still talked about today. In 1949, after winning the Giro once more, he took part in the Tour de France. By the time he reached the foothills of the Pyrenees, Coppi was 8 minutes behind Bartali and 28 minutes behind Jacques Marinelli, who was wearing the yellow jersey. But this phenomenon on two wheels really came into his own in the Alpine section. In Briancon, Bartali was allowed to win on his 35th birthday; the following morning, however, the day of the Briancon-to-Aosta stage (the 17th), Coppi beat Bartali by 4 min 55 sec; and during the timed stage between Colmar and Nancy, Coppi led Bartali by 7 min 7 sec. By the time they reached the Parc des Princes in Paris, Coppi had become the first to win both the Giro and the Tour de France within the same season. In 1952 Stan Ockers came second to Fausto Coppi who had just repeated his double win of 1949, with a margin of 28 minutes over his rival. But one of his finest performances was his attempt on the hour record which he broke on 7 Nov. 1942 in the Milanese Vigorelli; Coppi beat Maurice Archambaud’s previous record and raised it to 45.848 km/h, a record which was to stand until 29 June 1956, when Jacques Anquetil rode 46.159 km within 60 minutes. Once Fausto Coppi went out in front, no one ever caught him up. He was a born cycle-racing champion.