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Ferdi Kübler, born in 1919, was the winner of the 1950 race

The oldest surviving winner of the Tour de France has died.

Ferdi Kübler, a Swiss man, born in 1919, who won the 1950 race, passed away on the afternoon of December 29th, according to his wide Christina.

She told the Schweizer Illustrierte. "Ferdi has fallen asleep peacefully, with a smile on his face.”

He was taken to hospital in Zurich after spending Christmas with his family, having caught a chill.

The ‘Pedal Fool’, as he was known, had suffered numerous health problems in recent months.

Kübler earned his stripes facing down opponents including Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali, and was known for his energy and generosity, ambition and panache.

"The time trial, the sprint, the mountain ... I knew how to do everything," said Kübler, whose early cycling career was held back by the war years of the 1940s.

"I became champion because I was poor"

"I struggled to eat, to have a better life. I won the Tour de France because I dreamed, because I knew that afterwards I would never be poor again."

Kubler, who quit his racing career in 1957, remained a popular figure in Switzerland, appearing often as an advertising figure.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.