Road to Valor
A True Story of WWII Italy, the Nazis, and the Cyclist Who Inspired a Nation
Aili McConnon & Andres McConnon
This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
Road to Valor is the inspiring, against-the-odds story of Gino Bartali, the cyclist who made the greatest comeback in Tour de France history and secretly aided the Italian resistance during World War II.
Gino Bartali is best known as an Italian cycling legend: the man who not only won the Tour de France twice, but also holds the record for the longest time span between victories. During the ten years that separated his hard-won triumphs, his actions, both on and off the racecourse, ensured him a permanent place in Italian hearts and minds.
In Road to Valor, Aili and Andres McConnon chronicle Bartali’s journey, starting in impoverished rural Tuscany where a scrawny, mischievous boy painstakingly saves his money to buy a bicycle and before long, is racking up wins throughout the country. At the age of 24, he stuns the world by winning the Tour de France and becomes an international sports icon.
But Mussolini’s Fascists try to hijack his victory for propaganda purposes, derailing Bartali’s career, and as the Nazis occupy Italy, Bartali undertakes secret and dangerous activities to help those being targeted. He shelters a family of Jews in an apartment he financed with his cycling winnings and is able to smuggle counterfeit identity documents hidden in his bicycle past Fascist and Nazi checkpoints because the soldiers recognize him as a national hero in training.
After the grueling wartime years, Bartali fights to rebuild his career as Italy emerges from the rubble. In 1948, the stakes are raised when midway through the Tour de France, an assassination attempt in Rome sparks nationwide political protests and riots. Despite numerous setbacks and a legendary snowstorm in the Alps, the chain-smoking, Chianti-loving, 34-year-old underdog comes back and wins the most difficult endurance competition on earth. Bartali’s inspiring performance helps unite his fractured homeland and restore pride and spirit to a country still reeling from war and despair.
Set in Italy and France against the turbulent backdrop of an unforgiving sport and threatening politics, Road to Valor is the breathtaking account of one man’s unsung heroism and his resilience in the face of adversity. Based on nearly ten years of research in Italy, France, and Israel, including interviews with Bartali’s family, former teammates, a Holocaust survivor Bartali saved, and many others, Road to Valor is the first book ever written about Bartali in English and the only book written in any language to fully explore the scope of Bartali’s wartime work. An epic tale of courage, comeback, and redemption, it is the untold story of one of the greatest athletes of the twentieth century.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
Road to Valor, made known on Christopher Close Up
I regularly listen to Tony Rossi's Christopher Close-up Sunday noon on XM/CatholicRadio. Last Sunday he had the brother and sister authors of this story about a devout Catholic bicycle racing champion, and I downloaded the iBook. It is a joyous story and enjoyable to read. The authors skillfully interweave the personal drama with local, national and global drama of WWII in Italy, taking the reader on the spiritual, cultural and emotional journey of Gino. Bartali,a true champion, and-most importantly-a true Christian who loved God and neighbor. This story exposes a man who, filled with faith, lived a virtuous life. I recommend it to young and old, especially anyone in discernment about a vocation. Faith, hope and charity play out to enable Bartali, with prudence, temperance and fortitude, persevere, endure and rise to be "champion" and "hero."
Road to valor
Great read and well written. A bit of history seldom spoken off or written about.
This book is a perfect example of interesting history that's easy to miss if not in your body of typical choices. Great read