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The Italian cyclist Fausto Coppi (1919-1960) was so dominating that he earned the nick-name 'the master of the masters' (Il Campionissimo). He won Giro d'Italia five times, Tour de France twice, and became World Champion in 1953. In 1942, he set the hour record with 45.787 km - a record which was only beaten in 1956. Coppi contracted malaria on a combined cycling and hunting vacation to the Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) and died of the disease in a hospital in Tortona in 1960.