France Grieves, Poulidor dies

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French bicycle racing legend Raymond Poulidor passed away on Wednesday (11/13). Poulidor breathed his last at 83 years old. Previously, he underwent treatment at a hospital in Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat, France since two months ago. 

“He died this morning,” Gisele, Poulidor’s wife, told AFP News Agency as quoted by Cycling News.

Poulidor has the nickname ‘The Eternal Second’. This nickname is pinned because he has been runner up three times in the Tour de France, without even winning the event. He was only once a champion in the 1964 edition of Vuelta a Espana.

Raymond Poulidor became the ambassador of the Tour de France after retiring to race. He is known as a friendly figure for fans, journalists, and lovers of bicycle racing. Not surprisingly, his death made many parties sad. 

“Raymond Poulidor has indeed died. But his exploits, talents, and courage will remain etched in memory. Poupou, the  yellow jersey  that is forever in the hearts of French people, “wrote Emmanuel Macron, President of France in his Twitter account.

The greatest racer in history, Eddy Merckx also expressed his sorrow for the death of Poulidor. “The world of cycling loses a monument. An icon, “Merckx told Het Nieuwsblad.

According to the man from Belgium, Poulidor is a figure that is very loved in France. Merckx calls Poulidor side by side with Jacques Anquetil, and Bernard Hinault as an unforgettable trio of drivers in France.

“He is probably the most popular sportsman in France. I was devastated to hear the news of his death, “said Merckx.

Poulidor is the in-law of the former cyclo-cross world champion, Adrian van der Poel. His two grandchildren, David van der Poel, and Mathieu van der Poel also entered the world of bicycle racing. Mathieu van der Poel is the 2015 cyclo-cross world champion, and 2019. 

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