Bobet’s Broken Wire
Louison Bobet was leading the 1952 Tour of Flanders by 1 minute 20 seconds when, with 15 kms to go, one of the wires to his rear derailleur broke, disabling the chain tension adjustment and leaving the chain hanging loose. Bobet raced on towards the finish, but was caught by the chasing group and dropped, finally finishing 6th, 1 minute 20 seconds behind the winner Roger Decock. Top photo shows Bobet’s soigneur, Le Bert, holding Bobet’s bike up for the cameras, with Bobet in the background (white circle on his pullover). Note the disabled Huret “Louison Bobet” derailleur, and Campagnolo rear quick release lever mounted on the drive side. Bottom photo shows Bobet near the finish, derailleur shifted to the smallest cog and chain hanging loose behind the chainring. Did the broken chain tensioner cost Bobet victory? From “But et Club – Le Miroir des Sport” No.344, 7 April 1952.