‘The Eternal Second’ – French great Poulidor dies

Raymond Poulidor looks on at the 1974 Tour de France

French cycling great Raymond Poulidor has died at the age of 83.

Poulidor was renowned for finishing on the podium of the Tour de France eight times from 1962 to 1976, without ever winning the yellow jersey.

As a result he was nicknamed ‘The Eternal Second’, his career coinciding with legends Jacques Anquetil and Eddy Merckx, who won five Tours each.

However, Poulidor also won the 1964 Vuelta a Espana and the ‘monument’ classic Milan-San Remo in 1961.

He rode for Mercier for the entirety of his 17-year professional career, during which he won 11 Grand Tour stages – seven at the Tour and four at the Vuelta.

Representing France, he won one silver and three bronze medals in World Championship road races.

Poulidor remained a hugely popular figure in France, affectionately known as ‘Pou-Pou’, and continued to work for sponsors and appear on the podium during presentations at the Tour de France, including at this year’s event.

Poulidor’s grandson, the Dutch rider Mathieu van der Poel, is one of the best young riders in cycling, having won two cyclo-cross world titles as well as Amstel Gold Race and the Tour of Britain on the road this year.

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