"A True Story of WWII Italy, the Nazis, and the Cyclist Who Inspired a Nation"

Jul 16, 2012

On this edition of ST, we speak with Aili McConnon, a Canadian journalist, who (along with her brother, Andres) is the co-author of an exciting work of non-fiction called "Road to Valor: A True Story of WWII Italy, the Nazis, and the Cyclist Who Inspired a Nation." This book recounts the strange-but-true, against-the-odds story of Gino Bartali, a cyclist who not only won the Tour de France twice, but who also (to this day) holds the record for the longest time-span between victories. And in fact, it's what he did in between those two victories, during the Second World War, that's especially inspiring --- indeed, incredible. During the ten years that separated his hard-won cycling triumphs, Bartali secretly --- and tirelessly, and fearlessly --- aided the Italian resistance. "Road to Valor" --- the first book ever to fully document the scope of Bartali's wartime efforts --- is an epic and moving account of courage, comeback, and redemption. It's also a detailed profile of one of the greatest athletes of the twentieth century. As a critic for Sports Illustrated has written: "You do not have to follow cycling to relish Bartali's story.... Like Laura Hillenbrand's 'Seabiscuit' before it, 'Road to Valor' is about an unlikely, headstrong champion who transcended his sport to make a deep impact on the broader world."