Re: [CR]Hugo Koblet - the 'Pedaler of Charm'

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From: "Aldo Ross" <>
To: <>, <>
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Subject: Re: [CR]Hugo Koblet - the 'Pedaler of Charm'
Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2007 21:11:00 -0500

It's always nice to see my name mentioned in CR messages ;-) Unfortunately I have only a dozen magazines from July 1951, and the picture Norris remembers isn't among them. However, I did find two nice shots of Koblet and his bike:

In this view we can see the right rear half, including the Campagnolo #2 rear derailleur and mounting plated bolted into toothed cambio Corsa/P-R dropouts, full-length derailleur cable housing, very early use of a Campagnolo pillbox front mech, cottered cranks with Simplex rings and adaptors, gonfleur, Silca pump, and Universal brake calipers. Note the fender eyelets, and the axle stop bolted into the non-drive side dropout.
>From "But et Club - Le Miroir des Sports" No.305, 19 July 1951.

In this shot, from the left front, we can see the pair of Campy bar-end shifters, Universal brake levers with the grooved toothed white rubber band on the adjuster barrels, full-length derailleur cable housings attached with metal straps, lots of tape on and around the handlebar-mounted bottle cage clamps, and moderately fancy head lugs. Note the absence of any chrome on the frame and fork. From "But et Club - Le Miroir des Sports" No.308, 30 July 1951.

Aldo Ross
Middletown, Ohio
Etats Unis

----- Original Message -----
From: "Norris Lockley"
Sent: Monday, November 05, 2007 8:32 AM
Subject: [CR]Hugo Koblet - the 'Pedaler of Charm'

> Forty-three years ago last Friday, on the 2nd November 1964, Hugo Koblet
> died in a dreadful car crash when his Alfa Romeo left the road and h
> urtled into a pear tree. He was killed instantly, having suffered mult
> iple injuries. Was it an accident or suicide?
> Like many fans of continental road racing I have only ever thought of Ko
> blet as the handsome, elegant Swiss racing cyclist who rode his La Perle
> bi
> ke to victory in the 1951 Tour de France. The instantaneous picture th
> at my mind always conjures up when his name is mentioned is of Koblet, a
> "b
> oyau" wrapped around his shoulders, his "maillot" decorated with the
> Helvet
> ian white cross..combing his blond wavey hair. I think that there is even
> a
> sepia picture somewhere in one of the old "But et Club" magazines, showing
> Koblet, sitting up at the front of the peloton, combing his hair.
> Coincidence played an interesting role in my recent stay in France. On o
> ne Thursday I was picking up an early 80s Lejeune bike from a second-hand
> w
> arehouse, when I decided to browse through the book-shelves to search out
> a
> nything old books on cycling. I was in luck when I noticed the brown spine
> of a slimmish volume, bearing just the words "Hugo Koblet", and then in
> muc
> h smaller print "Jean-Paul Olivier" now better known as the historian of
> th
> e Tour de France. Two days and several chapters of the book later. I was
> to
> find myself huddled up in the front seat of a lumpy old Renault van,
> equipped with a squeaky-voiced SatNav system, being driven to investigate
> a bike that was claimed to be that very same La Perle that Hugo Koble
> t had used to ride to victory in that 1951 Tour de France.
> As my chauffeur, Lorenzo, but better known as "rocvale" on USA Ebay, thr
> eaded the vehicle along busy roads skirting the eastern outskirts of
> Paris,
> hurling abuse at the TomTom's shreaks every time it located a speeding cam
> era, I sat back and tried to conjure up those mental images of that 1951
> Ju
> ly edition of "Miroire de Cyclisme" and very importantly the details of
> T best known of all La Perles that was about to be revealed to my "co
> llaborateur" -in-chief and myself "tres prochainement".
> Yes..Koblet rode a big Fausto..I was sure of the handlebar e
> nd controls..probably a Brooks saddle..and he was using one of those newly
> introduced Campagnolo rear mechs.....Large or small flange hubs...? Alloy
> c
> otterless or steel cottered chainset..?
> Come on, Aldo..give me a must have that photo somewhere in y
> our archives.
> Norris Lockley...Settle UK..where the remembered suspense of a sunny Par
> isian afternoon, spent in wonderful all too present..