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Ferdinand Kübler

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Ferdinand Kübler
Kübler at the 1954 Tour de France
Personal information
Full nameFerdinand Kübler
NicknameFerdi, The Cowboy, The Eagle of Adliswil, Mr 100,000 Volts[1]
Born(1919-07-24)24 July 1919
Marthalen, Canton of Zurich, Switzerland
Died29 December 2016(2016-12-29) (aged 97)
Zurich, Switzerland
Team information
Rider typeAllround
Professional teams
1953–1955La Perle–Hutchinson
Major wins
Grand Tours
Tour de France
General classification (1950)
Points classification (1954)
8 individual stages (1947, 1949, 1950, 1954)

One-day races and Classics

Bordeaux–Paris (1953)
Liège–Bastogne–Liège (1951, 1952)
La Flèche Wallonne (1951, 1952)
Medal record
Men's road bicycle racing
Representing  Switzerland
World Championships
Silver medal – second place 1949 Copenhagen Elite Men's Road Race
Bronze medal – third place 1950 Moorslede Elite Men's Road Race
Gold medal – first place 1951 Varese Elite Men's Road Race

Ferdinand Kübler (pronounced [ˈfɛrdinand ˈkyːblər]; 24 July 1919 – 29 December 2016) was a Swiss cyclist with 71 professional victories, including the 1950 Tour de France and the 1951 World Road Race Championship.


Kübler was born in Marthalen. He began racing professionally in 1940 but his early career was limited to Switzerland by the Nazi occupation elsewhere. He was multiple Swiss national champion and a three time winner of the Tour de Suisse. Kübler's most successful years in international racing were 1950–1952, when the classics had resumed after the Second World War. He won the La Flèche Wallonne and Liège–Bastogne–Liège, both in 1951 and 1952, in a time where these races were still contested in the same weekend.[2] He was also World Road Race Champion in 1951, having placed second in 1949 and third in 1950.

Kübler rode the Giro d'Italia from 1950–1952, placing fourth once, and third twice. Kübler abandoned the 1947 and 1949 Tours de France, despite an early stage win in each. In the 1950 Tour, he benefited from the absence of Fausto Coppi, sidelined after a crash in the Giro. Overcoming Gino Bartali, Kübler became champion by over nine minutes, also winning three stages. In the 1954 Tour, Kübler won the points jersey and came second behind Louison Bobet.[3]

Kübler was the first Swiss winner of the Tour de France.[4] His biggest rival, Hugo Koblet, won the following year and as of 2021 they are the only riders from Switzerland to win the Tour.[5]

Kübler was a high-spirited and impulsive rider sometimes given to strategically unwise attacks, out of exuberance and competitive drive. He was known as "the cowboy" because of his penchant for Stetson hats. He retired from racing in 1957 at 38.

Kübler died in Zurich on 29 December 2016 at the age of 97.[6] Prior to his death he was the oldest living Tour de France winner.[7]

Career achievements[edit]

Major results[edit]


Switzerland national pursuit champion
Switzerland national pursuit champion
Switzerland national mountain champion
Switzerland national mountain champion
Tour de Suisse
Switzerland national pursuit champion
Switzerland national cyclo-cross champion
Tour de France:
Winner stages 1 and 5
Wearing yellow jersey for one day
Switzerland national road race champion
Tour de Suisse
Tour de Romandie
Tour de France:
Winner stage 5
Switzerland national road race champion
Challenge Desgrande-Colombo
Trophée Edmond Gentil
Switzerland national road race champion
Tour de France:
:Winner overall classification
Winner stages 6, 10 and 20
Switzerland national road race champion
World road champion
Tour de Romandie
Flèche Wallonne
Week-end Ardennais
Tour de Suisse
Challenge Desgrande-Colombo
Flèche Wallonne
Week-end Ardennais
Switzerland national road race champion
Challenge Desgrande-Colombo
Tour de France:
2nd place overall classification
Winner stages 5 and 14
Winner points classification

Grand Tour results timeline[edit]

1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955
Giro d'Italia DNE DNE DNE 4 3 3 DNF DNE DNE
Stages won 0 0 0 0
Mountains classification NR NR NR NR
Points classification N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Tour de France DNF-7 DNE DNF-18 1 DNE DNE DNE 2 DNF-12
Stages won 2 1 3 2 0
Mountains classification NR NR 4 6 17
Points classification N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A NR 1 NR
Vuelta a España DNE DNE N/A DNE N/A N/A N/A N/A
Stages won
Mountains classification
Points classification N/A N/A N/A
1 Winner
2–3 Top three-finish
4–10 Top ten-finish
11– Other finish
DNE Did not enter
DNF-x Did not finish (retired on stage x)
DNS-x Did not start (not started on stage x)
HD Finished outside time limit (occurred on stage x)
DSQ Disqualified
N/A Race/classification not held
NR Not ranked in this classification


  1. ^ Clarke, Stuart (5 November 2015). "13 of the strangest nicknames in cycling". Cycling Weekly. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  2. ^ O'Rourke, Eddy (June 2013). "Six Degrees of Ferdi Kübler". Cycling revealed.
  3. ^ "Rider Biographies – Ferdi Kübler". Cycling hall of fame.
  4. ^ Hood, Andrew (30 December 2016). "Ferdinand Kübler, first Swiss winner of Tour, dies at age 97".
  5. ^ "Former Tour de France Champion Kubler dies at 97". Cycling News. 30 December 2016.
  6. ^ "Ferdi Kübler est décédé". Le Matin (in French). 30 December 2016. Archived from the original on 30 December 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  7. ^ Boyce, Barry (2010). "Tour de France Champions Living and Dead". Cycling revealed. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
  8. ^ Ferdinand Kübler at Cycling Archives

External links[edit]