Raymond Poulidor Dies at 83
Raymond Poulidor died at the age of 83, L’Equipe reports. Mathieu van der Poel’s grandfather had been sick for some time. Pou Pou, the ‘Eternal Second’ passed away on Wednesday night at 2 o’clock in the hospital of his hometown Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat.
Raymond Poulidor won the championship of France as an independent in 1959 and became a professional cyclist the following year. He participated in the Tour de France fourteen times and was on the final podium on eight occasions, three times second. He won seven stages, but never managed to take the yellow jersey. In the eras of Jacques Anquetil and Eddy Merckx, his role as underdog and eternal second earned him extreme popularity in France.
His honours list also includes the victory in the Tour of Spain (1964), Milan-San Remo (1961), the Flèche-Wallonne (1963), Paris-Nice (1972 and 1973) and the Dauphiné Libéré (1966 and 1969). He retired from the peloton in 1977, after riding with the Mercier team for his whole cycling career. After he stopped racing he would be seen at many races and would be a regular on the Tour de France podium. His daughter Corinne married professional cyclist Adrie van der Poel. His grandsons David and Mathieu van der Poel are also professional riders.
He was admitted to hospital at the beginning of October due to extreme fatigue. On Wednesday night at 2 o’clock he fought his last battle in the hospital of his hometown Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat.
Condolences to the Poulidor family and friends from everyone at PEZ.