The 1951 “Race of the Falling Leaves” drew a star-studded field. Newly crowned World Champion Ferdi Kubler led Italian superstars Fausto Coppi, Gino Bartali, Fiorenzo Magni, defending Lombardia champion Renzo Soldani and Frenchman Louison Bobet.
Kubler leading Bobet and Coppi
Kubler set a hard pace leading to the climb of the Colle del Ghisallo.
Bobet's hard pace on the Ghisallo
Louison Bobet moved to the front and crossed the Ghisallo with Fausto Coppi as an 8 rider elite group formed. Ferdi Kubler began to fade.
Bobet (L) and Coppi (R) cross the summit of the Ghisallo
Into the Vigorelli Velodrome the 8 breakaway riders jockeyed for position. Legnano teammates Renzo Soldani and Giuseppe Minardi took turns leading a fierce pace. Riding against 7 Italians in the breakaway, Bobet found himself boxed-in. He managed get free and to moved up the track as the Italians eased off the pace. From high on the final turn Bobet jumped rapidly off the high banking and hit the final straight at full speed. Louison Bobet heald on to the lead at the finish line for the huge victory.
SPECIAL NOTE: With the Lombardia victory Bobet became the first foreign rider to achieve the tough Milan-San Remo/Giro di Lombardia double victory in the same season.
|GdL October 21, 1951
|226 Km, Milan-Milan
Louison BOBET (Fra) 5h51'03"
Giuseppe Minardi (Ita)
Fausto Coppi (Ita)
|Average Speed: 38.626 km/h
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