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PEZ Bookshelf: ‘Raincoats are for Tourists’ – The Racing Secrets of Raphaël Geminiani

PEZ Bookshelf: ‘Raincoats are for Tourists’ – The Racing Secrets of Raphaël Geminiani

“Le Grand Fusil” – The Big Gun – they called him and he is still firing away after all these years. Raphaël Geminiani was a…

Sunday, Mar 20

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“Le Grand Fusil” – The Big Gun – they called him and he is still firing away after all these years. Raphaël Geminiani was a talented albeit hotheaded pro racer before becoming a brilliant albeit hotheaded Directeur Sportif and definitely qualifies as a Character from the Golden Age of Racing. His wit and wisdom can be found in a charming little book from Rapha Editions and when he says: “Cycling is something I know a little about” it is worth paying attention to what comes next. Born on June 12, 1925 in Clemont-Ferrand to Italian immigrants who had come to France to escape fascism, Geminiani’s pro career ran from 1946 to 1960. He placed on the podium in six Grand Tours and was a consistent finisher, winning seven stages of the Tour de France. He won the Mountains Classification at the Tour in 1951 and the same at the Giro in 1952 and 1957 but his only major win otherwise appears to have been his French National Championship in 1953. These palmares do not really reflect what a quality rider he was—looking at 1955, for example, he was sixth at the Tour de France, fourth at the Giro, and third at the Vuelta. “Raincoats are for Tourists” is a book that includes many quotable quotes from “Gem,” interspersed with helpful commentary by Isabel Best. She notes:

“Raphaël Geminiani rode in an heroic age of cycling, an era that began in 1947 with the first Tour de France to follow […]

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