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Photo credits, *Gazzetta dello Sport*.
This was the second time Bartali won the tour, the first time having been in 1938.
His victory greatly helped to calm down spirits in Italy right after Palmiro Togliatti, leader of the Italian Communist Party, had been shot and badly wounded by a Fascist-leaning student.
> History and myth united, and a miracle if you like, because that evening Bartali got a phone call at his hotel. In a bad mood, dubious, he didn’t want to answer. But someone whispered that it was Alcide de Gasperi, his old friend from Catholic Action, now parliamentary president, who told him that Palmiro Togliatti, secretary-general of the communist party, had been shot at and had survived by a miracle. The situation in the peninsula was very tense amid the ravages of the Cold War. Italy needed Bartali to do what he best knew how to do, to win stages.
> The communists occupied factories and radio and television stations, and angry rows in parliament came close to blows. A revolt was looming. Then Bartali won three stages in a row and led the Tour by 14 minutes. An obituary says:
> Just as it seemed the communists would stage a full-scale revolt, a deputy ran into the chamber shouting ‘Bartali’s won the Tour de France!’ All differences were at once forgotten as the feuding politicians applauded and congratulated each other on a cause for such national pride. That day, with immaculate timing, Togliatti awoke from his coma on his hospital bed, inquired how the Tour was going, and recommended calm. All over the country political animosities were for the time being swept aside by the celebrations and a looming crisis was averted.
> The former prime minister, Giulio Andreotti said: “To say that civil war was averted by a Tour de France victory is surely excessive. But it is undeniable that on that 14th of July of 1948, day of the attack on Togliatti, Bartali contributed to ease the tensions.”