Raymond Poulidor

BornApril 15, 1936
BirthplaceMasbaraud-Mérignat, France
Professional Career1960-1977
Team(s)Mercier Team
Main Achievements3-time podium finisher in Tour de France (2nd place in 1964, 1965, and 3rd place in 1972), 1-time winner of Vuelta a España, 1-time winner of Milan-San Remo, 2-time winner of Critérium International

Raymond Poulidor, also known as “Pou-Pou,” was a French professional road bicycle racer born on April 15, 1936, in Masbaraud-Mérignat. Despite never winning the Tour de France, he was one of the most popular and revered racers in cycling history.

Poulidor began his professional cycling career with the Mercier team in 1960 and rapidly achieved recognition for his abilities. He finished second in the Tour de France in 1964 and 1965, and third in 1972. Poulidor was noted for his consistency and ability to perform well in difficult mountain stages. He was also a great one-day rider, winning the Milan-San Remo in 1961 and the Critérium International twice (1961 and 1963).

Poulidor’s fame arose not only from his riding abilities, but also from his humble and down-to-earth nature. He was viewed as the polar opposite of his major competitor, Jacques Anquetil, who was perceived as aloof and pompous. Poulidor’s Tour de France near-misses only increased to his mystique and endeared him to fans.

Poulidor resigned from professional cycling in 1977 after an 18-year career. He remained active in the sport, serving as a race organizer and commentator. He died on November 13, 2019, at the age of 83.

Despite never winning the Tour de France, Poulidor is regarded as one of the sport’s all-time greats. His consistency and persistence, paired with his humble attitude, have made him an iconic character in cycling history.

The Most Significant Achievements of Raymond Poulidor:

1961Winner of Milan-San Remo
1961, 1963Winner of Critérium International
1964, 1965, 1972Podium finisher in Tour de France (2nd place in 1964 and 1965, 3rd place in 1972)
1964Winner of Vuelta a España

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