Born in Ponte a Ema on 18 July 1914 and having died in Florence on 5 May 2000, Gino Bartali is one of the great legends of Italian and world cycling. “Ginettaccio”, as he was nicknamed, was a pro rider from 1934 to 1954, winning three Giro d’Italia (1936, 1937, 1946) and 17 stages – along with 50 days in the Maglia Rosa – two Tour de France (1938, 1948) and numerous others races including four Milano-Sanremo and three Giro di Lombardia.
Bartali’s impressive list of trophies could have been even greater were it not for the fact that his racing career was considerably reduced by the Second World War. His mythical rivalry with Fausto Coppi that divided Italy was immortalized by the photograph depicting the two champions as they passed a bottle along the Col du Galibier ramp at the 1952 Tour de France.In October 2003, three years after his death, Gino Bartali received the nomination of “Righteous Among the Nations” for his action helping Jewish people during the War. His name is engraved on the Wall of Honor in the Garden of the Righteous in the Yad Vashem Memorial in Jerusalem.Every year the Giro d’Italia remembers the great Tuscan champion with the “Tappa Bartali”.