Louison Bobet Photo Gallery
Louison Bobet (March 12, 1925 - March 13, 1983), a Giant of the Road, was the first racer to win the Tour de France three years in succession. Not only did he win many stage races, his list of single-day victories is impressive.
Starting in 1947 he started trying to win the Tour de France, but seemed to lack the resilience needed by a Grand Tour winner. In 1953 Bobet told his team he could win the Tour if they would unite behind him and agreed to split the prizes with them should he win. In the 18th stage, with a commanding ascent of the Izoard, he fulfilled his promise and became the Yellow Jersey, a lead he held all the way to Paris.
His third Tour victory in 1955 was earned while his body was covered with sores including a horribly painful saddle boil. He later said that winning the 1955 Tour shortened his career.
Bobet won the 1954 World Road Championship on a difficult course in terrible weather. He flatted shortly before the end, but chased, caught and dropped Fritz Schaer to win the Rainbow Jersey. In 1954 he was unquestionably the best road racer in the world.
Bobet died of cancer in 1983.
1950: French Championship, Critérium des As
1951: French Championship, Giro di Lombardia, Milano-San Remo, Critérium National
1952: Grand Prix des Nations, Critérium National, Paris-Côte d'Azur (now Paris-Nice) with four stage wins
1953: Tour de France, Critérium des As
1954: Tour de France with three stage wins, World Championship
1955: Tour de France, Ronde van Vlaanderen, Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré, Tour du Luxembourg
1959: Bordeaux-Paris, Rome-Naples-Rome
1955: Mercier-A. Leducq
1956-1960: L. Bobet-BP-Hutchinson
When Bobet raced in Italy:
1957: Velo Club Bustese
Nicknames: The Baker (his father's profession), Zonzon, The Professor
1951 Giro d'Italia: Fausto Coppi (left front), Ferdy Kübler (following Coppi) and Louison Bobet (right with Bottecchia cap)
1953 Tour de France, stage 7: Bernard Gauthier helps Louison Bobet get back on the road.
1953 Tour de France, stage 20: Bobet time trialing to Nantes wearing the Yellow Jersey.
1954 Tour de France, stage 11: Bobet leads up the Aubisque
Bobet winning the stage 21b time trial in the 1954 Tour de France
Bobet (wearing the Rainbow Jersey) ascending Mt. Ventoux alone and off the front in stage 11 of the 1955 Tour de France.
Charly Gaul (left) and Louison Bobet in stage 17 of the 1955 Tour de France. The two racers detested each other.
Bobet in 1955
Bobet in 1956
1958 Tour de France, stage 5: Louison Bobet and Raphaël Géminiani