How to Wear a Cycling Cap: Roger Hassenforder

Even when they are all bent out of shape.


Hassenforder rode professionally between 1952 and 1965, beginning with the Bertin-d'Alessandro Team, before moving on to a procession of others - Mercier-Hutchinson, La Perle-Hutchinson, Saint Raphael-Geminiani, Alcyon-Lerous, and Bertin-Porter 39-Milremo. Interestingly most of this major victories came in the Tour de France where he won eight stages and, in 1953, wore the Yellow Jersey for four days. Beyond those wins, Roger was a three time champion of the Criterium International (1954, 1956, 1958), won the Tour du Sud-Est in 1953, the GP des Allies and Ronde d'Aix-en-Provence in 1954, the Tour de Picardie in 1955, and a stage of the Vuelta in 1957. Other wins came in less-known races as well.

If you ever find yourself in Kayserberg, France check out Chez Roger Hassenforder, the restaurant/inn established by the former Tour champion at the end of this racing career. If I read correctly, the establishment may no longer be owned by him, but the current owners have retained the memorabilia connected to him. Felix Levitan, Tour Director, said of Hassenforder: "He has an athletic body, a round head halo of frizz, amazing eyes, lively, fun, spontaneous smile and a vocabulary to thrill," calling him the life and soul of his team. This website has some short, fun clips from the 1953 and 1955 Tours.

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