In the mid 1970's Eddy Merckx's career was beginning to draw to a close. By this time, even with just 3 tv channels - none of them showing cycling - everyone in the playground knew that Eddy Merckx was extraordinary. Looking like a cross between early Elvis and Bruce Lee, Merckx was like a swarthy brother of George Best; a brooding unpredictable hardman of cycling.
Writing an encyclopedia by yourself is a herculean task especially on a subject as diverse as cycling but that's exactly what William Fotheringham has attempted with his Cyclopedia. Does he succeed in his task? Yes he does, this is a fact packed read that you can dip in to or just sit down and keep turning the pages. Does the Cyclopedia encompass everything you could possibly want/need to know about cycling between its yellow covers? No, that would impossible.
Rather than just concentrate on the palmares of Italy's greatest cycling hero, greatest sporting hero even, William Fotheringham's new book, Fallen Angel tackles Fausto Coppi's whole life, a life seemingly dogged by tragedy and conflict, from being born into a poor farming family to his premature death from malaria 40 years later to give a broad understanding of the man, the legend, and the myth.