Today’s historic photo of the day: well, it’s actually not a photo of a cyclist, just a photo of a magazine – 11 August 1960 edition of “The Adventures of Tintin”. “Il Campionissimo” Fausto Coppi was on the cover of the magazine.
Fausto Coppi was already dead, when the magazine was published.
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 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… I was delirious and I couldn’t stop talking. I imagined or maybe saw people all around but I didn’t recognize 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 fatal strains of malaria. Géminiani recovered but Coppi died on January 2, 1960. His doctors convinced he had a bronchial complaint, they never suspected of malaria.
The Adventures of Tintin (French: Les Aventures de Tintin) is a series of comic albums created by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi (1907–1983), who wrote under the pen name Hergé. The series was one of the most popular European comics of the 20th century. By the time of the centenary of Hergé’s birth in 2007, Tintin had been published in more than 70 languages with sales of more than 200 million copies.
The Adventures of Tintin have been also adapted for radio, television, theater, and film.