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February 5, 2016
Photography by Veeral Patel
Our great sport is littered with historic rivalries. One of our favourites: Fausto Coppi vs Gino Bartali; two Italians on the same team, with different legions of fans, preferring to battle each other rather than work together for the team. The Coppiani from the hard-working North and the Bartaliani from the more traditional south of Italy.
This was a rivalry that would transcend cycling into the political and social culture of their time, dividing an entire country. Legend grew at the 1949 world championships, where Coppi and Bartali chose to quit the race rather than help each other win. Even their eventual make-up still stirs debate amongst Italians and cycling fans alike: who really offered their bidon to the other rider?
The polarising nature of Bartali and Coppi’s rivalry was not unique. Every town, every region, every country has a divide; a river or a railroad that binds us to a particular area. Our latest kit asks you to make a choice: which pack are you part of, is it North or South? Represent by showing your colours.
Pick your side. Or even better: what’s your mood?
And if you have a spare 50 minutes, we’d recommend getting lost in some fantastic old footage of Coppi and Bartali’s legendary rival. They certainly don’t make ’em like they used to: