The funeral of Fausto Coppi

The funeral of Fausto Coppi

The funeral of Fausto Coppi.
In December 1959, the president of Burkina Faso, Maurice Yaméogo, invited Coppi, Raphaël Géminiani, Jacques Anquetil, Louison Bobet, Roger Hassenforder and Henry Anglade to ride against local riders and then go hunting. Géminiani remembered:

“I slept in the same room as Coppi in a house infested by mosquitos. I’d got used to them but Coppi hadn’t. Well, when I say we ‘slept’, that’s an overstatement. It was like the safari had been brought forward several hours, except that for the moment we were hunting mosquitos. Coppi was swiping at them with a towel. Right then, of course, I had no clue of what the tragic consequences of that night would be. Ten times, twenty times, I told Fausto ‘Do what I’m doing and get your head under the sheets; they can’t bite you there'”.

Both caught malaria and fell ill when they got home. Géminiani said:

“My temperature got to 41.6 °C… I was delirious and I couldn’t stop talking. I imagined or maybe saw people all round but I didn’t recognise anyone. The doctor treated me for hepatitis, then for yellow fever, finally for typhoid”.

Geminiani was diagnosed as being infected with plasmodium falciparum, one of the more lethal strains of malaria. Géminiani recovered but Coppi died on January 2, 1960, his doctors convinced he had a bronchial complaint. They had never realized that Coppi was suffering from malaria.

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