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Hugo Koblet’s 1951 Tour de France trophy

Words/images: Brett Horton/Horton Collection

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Imagine our excitement when we were given the opportunity to travel to Hugo Koblet’s hometown in Zurich to acquire an unbelievable stash of personal jerseys and race trophies from a member of his local cycling club. The chance to get a trophy from a big race is difficult enough, so getting a trophy from a big race won by a mythical champion is really far and few between. We hit the lottery and left Zurich with a crate of Koblet’s stuff! The photo shows Hugo, his mother and his masseur looking at the newest addition to the Koblet display case, his trophy from his victory at the 1951 Tour de France.

Hugo Koblet was an extremely popular rider. The peloton admired his riding prowess while the ladies, well, they were more than happy just admiring his good looks. A 9-time Swiss national champion, Koblet also won the Giro d’Italia, Tour de Suisse, Tour de Romandie, numerous 6 Days, and a slew of other races. All told, he had 70 victories as a professional rider. Koblet married a statuesque fashion model, loved fast cars and led a glamorous lifestyle. Sadly, the supernova that burned so bright in the early 1950s was extinguished too early. Hugo Koblet died in a car accident in 1964 at age 39.

From issue 22. SOLD OUT.