Home > Cycling Books > Giro d'Italia Books

The Road to Valour: Gino Bartali: Tour de France Legend and Italy`s Secret World War Two Hero

RRP: £30.00
Our Price: £25.00

The Road to Valour is the inspiring story of Gino Bartali  the cyclist who made the greatest comeback in Tour de France history and continues to hold the record for the longest time-span between victories.   Yet what ensured his permanent place in Italian hearts and minds were his actions in between  when he secretly aided the Italian Resistance during World War II. Very little of this has been known until now. 

Aili and Andres McConnon chronicle Bartali`s journey  starting in impoverished rural Tuscany where a scrawny  mischievous boy painstakingly saves his money to buy a bicycle  and before long is racking up wins throughout the country.   At the age of 24  he stunned the world by winning the Tour de France  becoming an international sports icon in the process. But Mussolini`s Fascists hijacked his victory for propaganda purposes  derailing Bartali`s career  and as the Nazis occupy Italy  Bartali undertook dangerous missions to help those being targeted.  

He sheltered a family of Jews in an apartment he financed with his cycling winnings and smuggled counterfeit identity documents hidden in his bicycle past Nazi checkpoints under the guise of being a national hero in training. After the gruelling wartime years  Bartali fights to rebuild his career as Italy emerges from the rubble. Despite numerous setbacks and a legendary snowstorm in the Alps  the chain-smoking  Chianti-loving  34-year-old underdog comes back and wins the most difficult endurance competition on earth - the Tour de France. Bartali`s inspiring performance helps unite his fractured homeland and restore pride and spirit to a country still reeling from war and despair.  Based on nearly ten years of research in Italy  France  and Israel  including interviews with Bartali`s family  former teammates  a Holocaust survivor Bartali saved  and many others  this is the first book ever written about Bartali in English and the only book written in any language to fully explore the scope of Bartali`s wartime work.  

The Road to Valour is the account of one man`s unsung heroism and his resilience in the face of adversity. An tale of courage  comeback and redemption  it is the untold story of one of the greatest sportsman of the twentieth century.    
By: Aili & Andres MaConnon
Book: Hardback, 256 pages
Code: 859994