This is a Rouleur publication (under the Bloomsbury imprint), and in common with that magazine, it’s chock full of photographs, printed on high quality paper. In his introduction, Sykes admits he’d always promised that he wouldn’t write a biography of Fausto Coppi (there are quite afe of those around). What this book represents is a collection of photographs from Coppi’s career, punctuated with interviews with some of Coppi’s contemporaries. Sykes’ intention is to preserve the memories of these veterans.
In this, the books succeeds admirably. It’s not a book that provides a detailed biography of Coppi – you have to look elsewhere for that – but for all that it’s delightful to read and to savour the often superb photography, with some of the often painful eyewitness testimony.
The design of the book is lovely, with excellent reproductions of the photos on heavy paper. Unfortunately the photos are not captioned, so relating them to thw interviews is not always easy. As a nice touch, the text pages are tinted in what appears to a pale Bianchi celeste.
Coppi: Inside the legend of the Campionissimo, by Herbie Sykes
Published by Rouleur via Bloomsbury Sport £27-ish