Five giri, two Tours de France, five editions of Lombardy. Three Sanremo, the hour, the Worlds (road and pursuit), ten maglie tricolore. The Gran Prix Des Nations, Paris-Roubaix, Flèche Wallonne. All the races he needed to win and hundreds – quite literally – that he probably didn’t. It’s a list that tells you everything that you need to know about Fausto Coppi, and nothing that you need to know about Fausto Coppi. Let’s put it another way. Girardengo and Binda, Guerra and Bartali, Merckx, Gimondi and Hinault. They were carnal, temporal and, in the final analysis, profoundly secular. They never transcended what they did because, for all that we build myths around them, what they did was all that they were. Coppi was all that they were as well, but also so much more besides. These others were merely great bike riders, but being a great bike rider has nothing to do with greatness.