Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ferdi Kubler

Ferdi Kubler
Ferdinand (Ferdi) Kubler (born 1919) is a retired Swiss bicycle racer. Ferdi Kubler earned the nickname of "Cowboy" because he liked to wear Stetson hats. He is best remember for his 1950 Tour de France win and his 1951 World Championship Road Race win. At the 1954 Tour de France he finished in 2nd place and won the points classification (sprinter's green jersey). Not only did he win the Swiss National Road Race Championship 5 different times, he also won the Swiss National Pursuit Championship on the track 3 times and the Swiss National Cyclo-Cross Championship 1 time (1945). 

He began racing in 1940 at the age of 21. In his early years he raced very successfully around Switzerland. He was confined to his home country due to the Nazi occupation of much of Europe at the time. His most successful years were from 1950 through 1952. Fredi Kubler would have certainly had many more great performances if international racing wasn't suspended due to the war. 

 As well as doing well in the Tour de France, Kubler had some impressive rides while racing the Giro d'Italia. He finished in 3rd place in the general classification of the Giro d' Italia in both the 1951 and 1952 editions.

Kubler retired at from bicycle racing in 1957. He remains the oldest living Tour de France winner. 
Ferdi Kubler receiving encouragement from his wife Rosa during a tough climb. Be sure and notice the road's surface that he is climbing on. 
Ferdi Kubler cornering during the 1950 Tour de France.
Ferdi Kubler winning the 1950 Tour de France
Ferdi Kubler during the 1955 Tour de Suisse
This is a silent newsreel of an epic battle between Kubler and Coppi during the 1953 Giro d'Italia. Ferdi Kubler's jersey appears white but he is actually wearing the pink jersey of the leader of the Giro. At the time Fausto Coppi is dominating bicycle racing. Kubler is one of the few racers that can challenge him. In the end Coppi crosses the finish line first, but Kubler is right there with him.

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