Former French cycling champion Raymond Poulidor is no longer alive. Poupou, as he was known, died at the age of 83 at his home in Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat in southwestern France, AFP reported, citing the family.
The "eternal second" was one of the most popular French athletes, he was considered "the man who never won the Tour de France." Poulidor made it in his career eight times in Paris on the podium (three times second, five times third), also got him seven stage victories between 1962 and 1974. He never wore the yellow jersey.
In 1977, Poulidor, a good time trial and great climber, finished his cycling career. "Poupou, we'll never forget you," tweeted the Twitter account of the Tour de France. He had already been admitted to a hospital in October, reported the station "France-Info". His wife said Poulidor suffered from heart problems and exhaustion.
Raymond Poulidor (1976)
Ellenbogenduell with Anquetil
While he was denied the triumph at the tour, Poulidor celebrated on other routes successes. In the sixties and seventies, he won at famous cycling races such as Milan-Sanremo, Paris-Nice and the Tour of Spain. He finished his career after being third in the Tour de France in 1976 at the age of 40.
Famous are the pictures of his elbows duel at the Tour 1964: Jacques Anquetil and Poulidor kicked shoulder-to-shoulder up the Puy de Dome. Poulidor won the stage in the end, but against his big rivals again not the tour.
Poulidor, who was born on April 15, 1936, saw his special fame with humor: his name was a winged term in France, he said on his 80th birthday AFP news agency. "When someone comes second – in the boules game, for example – he is a 'Poulidor'," said the racer.