Monday, September 27, 2010

Hugo Koblet, First Foreign Winner of the Giro d'Italia

It was at the 33rd edition of the Giro d'Italia in 1950 that Swiss rider Hugo Koblet became the first ever foreign winner.

A film about the life of Hugo Koblet, "Hugo Koblet – Pédaleur de charme", recently premiered at the Locarno Film Festival. The film synopsis: The Rise and Fall of Hugo Koblet, the James Dean of Swiss Cycling - Swiss cyclist Hugo Koblet is the first foreigner to win the Giro d’Italia in 1950. The son of a baker in Zurich’s working class district takes the world by complete surprise and shoots to fame. Women adore the handsome and worldly charmer, cycling aficionados revere him for his elegant riding and the press happily feeds on his numerous affairs. The following year he also wins the Tour de France. Before long his swift rise is put to an abrupt end by doping abuse that causes irreparable damage to his health. However, Koblet enjoys a couple more glamorous years at the Six Day race in Zurich and admits himself into society by marrying model Sonja Bühl. But all too soon the lavish womanizer is short of money and on the brink of a divorce when he crashes his sports car into a tree. It remains unsettled whether it was an accident or a suicide. Director Daniel von Aarburg depicts the larger-than-life story of Hugo Koblet with post-war archival footage, re-enacted key scenes and interviews with contemporary witnesses like his perennial adversary Ferdy Kübler.

The trailer:

In full size here.

Archive photos of Koblet:

The actor in the movie:

You can see a video of Koblet and Coppi battling for a stage victory in the Dolomites at the 1953 Giro d'Italia here.

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1 comment:

  1. Saw it a couple of weeks ago, just before heading off to l'Eroica. Even though my Swiss German is lacking, it was a great film!