Words: Jean-Luc Gatellier Images: L’Équipe. © Move Press @ pelotonmagazine.com

The French nation will miss him and cycling fans will certainly miss him even more during this Tour de France, the race that made him so immensely popular. With Raymond Poulidor, glory and his failure to win the Tour went hand in hand. He was on the Paris podium eight times in 14 appearances, the last in 1976, at the age of 40, a final testimony to unparalleled longevity. He subsequently became part of the publicity caravan, missing only one edition, in 1987. “The manager of a radio station had hired me,” he explained. “As the Tour got closer, no news, so I went up to Paris to find out what was going on. I was told, ‘Sorry, Monsieur Poulidor, your contact has disappeared with all of the money.’ He was a crook, and also came from [my home region of] the Limousin! He had fled with the cash, including my share. I had to stay at home and was very unhappy about it. That was my worst holiday.”

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