Reader reviews for Road to Valour : A True Story of a Tuscan Cyclist and Sec...

It's hard to say to what extent my enjoyment of "Road to Valor" was influenced by my love of cycling. The book is essentially a biography of World War II era cyclist, Gino Bartali. Bartali was a two-time winner of the Tour de France, but he was also a war hero who helped to save many Italian Jews from the Nazis. His story is an interesting and complex one, but for all that, he isn't a very likeable character. For me, the most fascinating parts of the book were those that described the early days of the Tour de France. The final chapters were particularly gripping, and the reader will really feel the tension as Gino struggles through the mountain passes of the Tour and Italy struggles to recover from the war.I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in World War II Italy or the history of bicycle racing.
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Road to Valor is a well-written book, and very readable. As a person who is very interested in WWII, and with no knowledge of cycling, I found this book to be infomative. Gino Bartali was an amazing man, who accomplished much over his lifetime. From a young age, Bartali was a fighter, and I came to respect him greatly for what he accomplished. A very well written, informative book.
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Road to Valour is a wonderful tale about strength and perseverance that describes how Italian cyclist Gino Bartali manages to overcome poverty and war to conquer the Tour de France in 1948 when he was 34 years old. Despite being a sickly child from a poor family, Bartali becomes a cycling star only to have Fascism and World War II interrupt his career. During the war, despite the danger involved, Bartali participated in the resistance movement by transporting fake documents or photographs that would help Jewish families avoid arrest and possible deportation to concentration camps. Then, after the war, Bartali worked to rebuild his life and cycling career and was able to win the 1948 Tour de France at a time when Italy was fraught with political upheaval due to the attempted assassination of an important politician. Aili and Andres McConnon narrative flows and it captures the triumphs and tragedies of Bartali's life. My only disappointment with the book was the lack of detail concerning Bartali's activities during the war but the lack on information is explained by the authors. Ultimately, Bartali's story is about not giving up and it will be enjoyable reading for all of those who love rooting for the underdog.
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I was never a big fan of cycling but my husband is so I have found myself half watching the Tour de France over the last few years and enjoying it. This book serves as not only a good intro to the history of the race, but also as a testament to some of the people who risked everything during WWII to right some of the wrongs committed. This book is interesting and well written. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
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its refreshing to read about a real hero of cycling during this period of drug abuse by champions. Bartali rode well and saved peoples lives (at his own risk) during the dark period of Fascism and Worl War II.
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It's not enough to be the best in a chosen field. Politics, public opinion - often one is influenced by the other - as well as international events, all have an impact on the outcome, even on the opportunities available.After his Tour de France win in 1938 Gino Bartali neglected to direct the credit to Mussolini; the reaction was a crushing silence that could have been career-ending. However, his fans still remembered him throughout the misery of the war when Giro d'Italia and Tour de France were suspended. His continued training regime concealed the fact that he was acting as a long distance messenger for the resistance, carrying forged identification papers in his bicycle frame. To Bartoli's credit, he didn't think twice about helping to protect and provide for the burgeoning Jewish community. The group, led by Cardinal Elia Dalla Costa, archbishop of Florence, was successful in saving hundreds of lives.His post-war comeback was particularly challenging given the difficulties of the time. Prizes were often in the form of food or necessary items. Bartoli requested a prize of gas pipes that he could donate to a gas company in Florence to replace pipes damaged in the war. When the Tour de France was resumed in 1948 he was viewed as a has-been by the cycling community, making the comeback even more challenging, the celebration more exuberant. His record for the longest time between Tour de France wins, still stands.Aili and Andres McConnon have done an outstanding job describing the history and excitement of bicycle racing, particularly the Tour de France. It is equally fascinating to read about Bartali's part in the Italian resistance. This is a compelling story, well-written, well-researched, never dull. Highly recommended.
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This was great! I'm really not a sports fan, but this was such a great historical book, really well told (I'm getting kinda evangelistic about it, actually). Balanced, also. In an age of whiny, preening, overpaid sports stars, the story of a humble hero who risked his life to save others (at least 600 Jews, and since he worked so hard to conceal his efforts in the Resistance, quite possibly many more) is refreshing and inspiring.
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For a non-fiction/biographical story, and one about a topic I'm mostly unfamiliar,ie cycling, this book was pretty good. Gino's story is told as a story, but clearly accurately, not fictionalized. The author's did a really good job in writing a "real" story in story or literary fashion. I enjoyed the background and historical information too, which never dragged on and was never dry.

Anyone interested in WWII, Italian history, Le Tour de France, and/or cycling will enjoy this book. People not interested in those topics will also like this book, as I did.

Reviewed for ER LibraryThing.com
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