Contents

Trans-substantial Catholics

Watch this. What are the priests doing? Catholic Litmus Test If you are Catholic, then I hope for the sake of your soul you said he is welcoming Christ bodily into the world. If you didn’t you aren’t looking too […]


Poor Hanno

According to the pop-psychologist-pseudo-science writer Malcolm Gladwell in his magnum lite-opus, the Tipping Point we as a species need risk takers. Individuals who are willing to put it all on the line in pursuit of a goal will, if they […]


Intelligence and Happiness?

A while ago, the Inquisition pondered the nature of intelligence, and whether a certain outlook or attendant mental abilities are guides to or from happiness. This has been obliquely in the news of late…


Buried by the Sea

Its odd. Most graveyards in Connemara appear to be near water, if not actually right on the coast. Why? West Galway, or Connemara, has a lot of unused space. Admittedly, much of the land Connemara is industrially and agriculturally useless, […]


Cycling Two Abreast

Cycling two abreast in Ireland is legal, a protected practice, and it is safer.


Indoors / Outdoors (Defuse)

A talk given by The Inquisition at Defuse, on Wednesday 7th November 2012, as part of Designweek in Dublin, Ireland


Nürnburg’s Extra Bombs

Nürnburg got ripped to shreds by Bomber Harris’ boys. By how much appears to be open to debate.


Law & Morality

The preface to HLA Hart’s publication of his 1961 lecture series on the meeting of law and morality is as prevalent today as it ever was.


Foy – The Bodiless Head

A bodiless head is revered as being Saint Foy, who died a cruel death.


Coffee Haters

There are people out there who pretend to like coffee. Coffee Haters – you have been warned.


False Flags 2

False flag, covert ops by Americans against Americans? Sounds crazy, and so it was deemed.


Plastic 55 Years Ago

55 years ago Roland Barthes considered the importance of plastic and what it meant, as a substance and a symbol.


Cesare Borgia’s Party

The Pope, his son and fifty prostitutes – Cesare Borgia’s party.


Marriage – A Potted History

Marriage is thought by many to be a fixed rite, one which is immovable and inflexible. The truth is that it has not always seemed so…


Blinking Morse

The world was shocked when a victim of torture started blinking morse. The story of a US aviator captured in Vietnam.


Synecdoche

Synecdoche is a powerful, expressive linguistic device


The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Contents Page
The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Semper Quarens - Always Looking

Champion of Champions

Fausto Coppi, Italian hero

Fausto Coppi, Italian hero

Fausto Coppi was a sporting hero unlike any others. He raced bicycles at a time when excelling at your sport was only part of your life. Unlike today’s lab-rat cosseted sports stars he lived up to the legend.

Background

Born in 1919 in Northern Italy, Coppi’s early life was unremarkable. He began his cycling career in his teens as something to do at the weekends and scaled the heights quickly winning a salami sandwich and an alarm clock.

Realising this was his ticket to success he went on to win most of cycling’s biggest prizes including: 4 times Italian champion, One win at Paris – Roubaix, 5 times winner of the Giro Lombardia, World Champion, twice winner of Tour de France and five victories in the Giro d”Italia. In 1949 Coppi won the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France, a feat which had been thought impossible. It was remarked “Bartali (his main rival) has blood in his veins, Coppi has petrol”.

How many athletes could have been so physically unique? He could not have done anything other than cycle. Coppi’s rib cage was visibly huge, containing a massive heart, and sitting above powerful legs. Beneath this musculature lay a weak and brittle skeleton, a fact that was attirbuted to childhood malnutrition. He also had a sensitive stomach and picked up numerous illnesses during his career.

The Juicy Bits

That’s all very exciting to a cycling fan, but it was what he got up to off the bike that is most interesting.

POW
Coppi’s career was put on ice between 1942 and 1946 when he fought with the Italian Army in North Africa. He was taken prisoner by the British but was back to his winning ways months after release.

Drugsh
Coppi was an unrepentant drug user – why repent? Performance enhancers were not banned. In fact, his great rival Bartali, used to enter Coppi’s hotel room to find evidence of which enhancers he was using and, armed with this information, predict where the racing attacks would come the following day.

In response to questions on his amphetamine use he answered: “(I take them) whenever it is neccessary… almost all the time.”

The Affair
Coppi gained his greatest fan when a cycling enthusiast army captain brought his wife to a race. She got his signature that night in his hotel. Soon she was photographed at races with him. The press found out who she was – she and Coppi left their spouses and moved in together.

Italy was in uproar – the lady in question, Giulia Locatelli (known as the lady in white) was temporarily imprisoned as was Coppi himself, their landlord kicked them out in disgust, the Police raided their house to see if they shared a bed, the Pope asked Coppi to return to his wife and refused to bless the Giro d’Italia if he was in it, so he settled upon ex-communication.

Paradoxically, Coppi refused, at first, to divorce his wife as this was seen to be shameful.

The End
Coppi wore himself out physically through the amphetamines and emotionally after his brother Serse died in a race. He died after partaking in a race celebrating the independence of Burkina Faso. Coppi died from malaria.

Rumours
As with all great heros there has to an element of intrigue, preferably, of the fatal kind. Two figures – a man known only as Giovanni, and a Benedictine monk called Adrien – maintain he was poisoned in retaliation for the death of an African rider in Europe.

Bibliography
Blazing Saddles, Matt Rendell, Quercus, 2007
Wikipedia, as ever
The Cycling Hall of Fame
Canterbury Cycle Club

This article was posted by on Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008 at 05:35.
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