Louis Bobet: Cycling
Louis “Louison” Bobet (12 March 1925 – 13 March 1983) was a professional road racing cyclist. Bobet is known to be the first great French ride after the war and the first rider to ever win the Tour de France for three consecutive years. At the age of two, he was given a bicycle by his father and after six months, he could ride it up to 6 km. Bobet was thirteen when he first raced a 30-km event. He came in second in a sprint finish and raced in a lot more events for unlicensed riders, winning most of them. It was in 1943 when he qualified for the Premier Pas Dunlop and became sixth.
Greatest Sporting Achievements
Aside from winning the Tour de France three times from 1953 to 1955, he also won national road champion (1950 and 1951), Milan-San Remo (1951), Giro di Lombardia (1951), Criterium International (1951 and 1952), Paris-Nice (1952), Grand Prix des Nations (1952), World Road Championship (1954), Tour of Flanders (1955), Criterium du Dauphine Libere (1955), Tour de Luxembourg (1955), Paris-Roubaix (1956) and Bordeaux-Paris (1959).
Why Was He So Good?
Although he was already the best, he didn’t have that much confidence in him. He was sensitive, nervous and he worried about a lot of things. Louison Bobet was a rider who was simply elegant, charming, witty and interesting. He was a good climber and time-trialist who simply has the authority and intelligence. His ambition was simply to be the best, careful with his efforts and was completely hard-working when it comes to riding.
What You May Not Know
- “On” in Louison is a diminutive French – his father was called Louis and the son was called Louison – little Louis to avoid confusion.
- After D-day, he joined the army and served East France. In December 1945, he was demobilized.
- His career ended in the autumn of 1960 when the car he and his brother were in crashed just outside of Paris.
- After his racing career, he had a few businesses including a clothing shop, but he was best known for investing in and developing the little-known seawater health treatment of thalassotherapy. He even used it when recovering from his car crash.
- Louison often talked of himself in the third person.
- He was a neat-freak, refused to accept his first yellow jersey because it wasn’t made of pure wool. He believed that it was the only healthy material when it comes to sweating and dusting.
Was he a legend?
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