Kübler wins after the Italians withdraw

After the drama of the previous two years, the Italians once again entered the Tour as favourites, even though Fausto Coppi was absent, victim of a crash in the Giro of that year. Even in his absence, however, things looked to be going well for the Italians, winning five of the first ten stages. On the big Pyreneen trek to St Gaudens, however, veteran Gino Bartali fell from his bike with Jean Robic on the descent of the Col d'Aspin. Even though Bartali got up to win the stage, he had felt threatened by over-zealous fans on the roadside; several times he had been punched and kicked. With feelings running high, both the Italian A and B teams retired overnight, even though Fiorenzo Magni was leading overall. In his absence, the Swiss rider Ferdi Kübler chose the flat roads from Perpignan - Nîmes to attack; he was only fourth on the stage, in the company of Stan Ockers, but had left his principal French rivals Raphaël Geminiani and Louison Bobet over ten minutes behind. Both were to win stages through the Alps, but by Paris, Kübler, "the Swiss Cowboy" (named on account of his prediliction for wide brimmed hats) was a comfortable winner, the first Swiss to win the Tour. The second was not to be too far behind...

Stage winners

 StageWinnerOverall Leader
Stage 1Paris - Metz, 307kmJean GoldschmitJean Goldschmit
Stage 2Metz - Liège, 241kmAdolfo LeoniGoldschmit
Stage 3Liège - Lille, 232.5kmAlfredo PasottiBernard Gauthier
Stage 4Lille - Rouen, 231kmStan OckersGauthier
Stage 5Rouen - Dinard, 316kmGiovanni CorrieriGauthier
Stage 6Dinard - St Brieuc, 78km TTFerdi KüblerGoldschmit
Stage 7St Brieuc - Angers, 248kmNello LaurediGauthier
Stage 8Angers - Niort, 181kmFiorenzo MagniGauthier
Stage 9Niort - Bordeaux, 206kmPasottiGauthier
Stage 10Bordeaux - Pau, 202kmMarcel DussaultGauthier
Stage 11Pau - St Gaudens, 230kmGino BartaliFiorenzo Magni
Stage 12St Gaudens - Perpignan, 233kmMaurice BlommeFerdi Kübler
Stage 13Perpignan - Nîmes, 215kmMarcel MolinèsKübler
Stage 14Nîmes - Toulon, 222kmCustodio Dos ReisKübler
Stage 15Toulon - Menton, 205.5kmJean DiederichKübler
Stage 16Menton - Nice, 96kmKüblerKübler
Stage 17Nice - Gap, 239kmRaphaël GeminianiKübler
Stage 18Gap - Briançon, 165kmLouison BobetKübler
Stage 19Briançon - Saint Etienne, 291kmGeminianiKübler
Stage 20Saint Etienne - Lyon, 98km TTKüblerKübler
Stage 21Lyon - Dijon, 233kmGino SciardisKübler
Stage 22Dijon - Paris, 314kmEmile BaffertKübler



1st: Ferdi Kübler, Switzerland, 4775km in 145h 36' 56" (32.778km/h)
2nd: Stan Ockers, Belgium, @ 09' 30"
3rd: Louison Bobet, France, @ 22' 19"
4th: Raphaël Geminiani, France, @ 31' 14"
5th: Jean Kirchen, Luxembourg, @ 34' 21"
6th: Kléber Piot, Ile-de-France - Nord-Est, @ 41' 35"
7th: Pierre Cogan, Centre - Sud-Ouest, @ 52' 22"
8th: Raymond Impanis, Belgium, @ 53' 34"
9th: Georges Meunier, Centre - Sud-Ouest, @ 54' 29"
10th: Jean Goldschmit, Luxembourg, @ 55' 21"

(51st: Fritz Zbinden, Switzerland, @ 4h 06' 47")


1st: Louison Bobet, France, 58
2nd: Stan Ockers, Belgium 44
3rd: Jean Robic, Ouest, 41


1st: Belgium 438h 54' 21"
2nd: France @ 38' 25"
3rd: Luxembourg @ 41' 25"