Re: [CR]Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali Tour de France Bikes 1949

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Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2004 16:40:58 -0700
From: Jan Heine <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali Tour de France Bikes 1949

>I truly hate having to correct Jan's posts, but given his oft-stated
>desire for accuracy, I know that he, more than most of us, is all
>too happy to get things straightened out.

VBQ has a long-term policy of accepting additions and corrections. So nobody should hate to correct anything. We are looking to unravel this history, not trying to build our egos!

The VBQ article in question (Vol. 2, No. 2, p. 1) stated "In 1949, Italian superstar Fausto Coppi won both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France with Simplex derailleurs (albeit manufactured in Italy).1"

Footnote 1 gives the source as: "Italian Simplex catalog, 1950."

As always, anybody - whether VBQ subscriber or not - is welcome to send in documented corrections or additions. It is entirely possible that the Simplex guys were taking some liberties with the truth after they signed Coppi. (In a similar vein, I recently flew with what the airline called a "Boeing DC-10," despite the fact that the plane was built long before the McDonnel-Douglas (sp?) and Boeing merged.) Or take Ernest Csuka's story from VBQ Vol. 1, No. 1 that he was paid for a stage victory in the Tour de France (randonneurs) by the owner of Ideale, despite riding a Brooks. "The ads say you rode an Ideale," the owner of Ideale said, as he thrust the money at Ernest Csuka... Concluding from ads thus can lead to wrong assertions.

The other quotes were from memory, and I am sorry I was wrong. Those comments wouldn't have made it into VBQ without a fact check - good reason for it, too! In fact, where possible, historic articles in VBQ are reviewed by other experts in the field. None of this assures 100% accuracy, which is why we publish additions and corrections.

For example, I recently found out that the stem on the 1974 Rene Herse (see the "Image Archive" on the VBQ web site) in fact was a model made in the 1980s by Jean Desbois, the husband of Lyli Herse. (Lyli and Jean Desbois took over the company after Rene Herse died in 1976.) The second owner needed a longer stem, so he had one made at the Herse shop. The upcoming issue of VBQ will have a note to that effect, so people won't conclude from the earlier article that the stem is period-correct for 1974... -- Jan Heine, Seattle Editor/Publisher Vintage Bicycle Quarterly