A sad day as one of many peoples (including mine) cycling hero’s died today… our condolences to his wife Gisele and family and his close friends

His grandson Mathieu Van Der Poel lost his mentor..a sad day for the cycling world (photo Sporza)

The French icon of cycling Raymond Poulidor died. The former French top rider and grandfather of the Van der Poel brothers turned 83. “Poupou” was immensely popular in France although he never managed to win the Tour. He made the final podium 8 times, which earned him the nickname “L’éternel second” Raymond Poulidor has been in hospital since 8 October near his hometown of Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat. The amiable Frenchman struggled with fatigue and died this morning at around 2 o’clock at the age of 83. “He has left us”, his wife Gisèle told the French press agency AFP. “He was very tired.”

Poulidor, who spent his entire career with his beloved team Mercier, could never win the Tour, but he triumphed in other major races such as the Tour of Spain (1964), Milan-Sanremo (1961) and the Walloon Arrow (1963). He also won seven stages in the Tour de France. Nevertheless, “Poupou” remains best known for its eight podium places in the final classification of the Tour. He was three times second (1964, 1965 and 1974) and five times third (1962, 1966, 1969, 1972 and 1976) in “La Grande Boucle” and constantly bit his teeth on rivals Jacques Anquetil and Eddy Merckx.
Anquetil won the Tour de France five times, but he was not nearly as popular as Poulidor. The French public loved “Poupou”, which exuded militancy and could face setbacks. In 1977 he ended his career with 73 professional victories.

Poupou during the 2019 TDF (Photo of Belga)