Raymond Poulidor: “Poupou”

06 February 2024 By Vera Klap History

Raymond Poulidor (1936-2019) also known as "Poupou" and "the eternal second" was a French cyclist of the Mercier team. Due to strong rivals such as Jacques Anquetil and later Eddy Merckx, he never managed to achieve victory in the Tour de France, but instead often took second or third place, earning him the nickname "the eternal second." Although never a winner of the final classification of the Tour de France, Poupou did win many other races, including the Vuelta a España and the Tour of Switzerland.


Raymond Poulidor: “Poupou”

Raymond Poulidor 1966

Favorite of the public

Raymond's likeable demeanour quickly made him a crowd favourite, even though he was not the big winner of the Tour de France, most Frenchmen would prefer to have a bite to eat with Raymond Poulidor. He was known to be approachable and also liked to surround himself among the fans. He was very respectful and appreciative of his fans. Until his death in 2019, Raymond still often stood on the podium to congratulate winners.

Jacques Anquetil en Raymond Poulidor, Tour de France 1964
Jacques Anquetil and Raymond Poulidor, Tour de France 1964


Family ties

In the Poulidor family, cycling runs in their blood. From an early age, he raced with his brothers. One of his brothers, Henri, later cycled just like Raymond for the Mercier-Hutchinson team. Raymond's daughter, Corinne Poulidor, married Dutchman Adrie van der Poel. Together they had two sons; David and Mathieu.


Like his father-in-law, Adrie van der Poel was a strong cyclist. In 1986, he won the Tour of Flanders with an exciting sprint against Sean Kelly. He also secured 1st place in 1988 during the 16th stage of the Tour de France. After his cycling career, he became a team manager and coach.


David van der Poel is Mathieu's older brother. Cycling also runs in his blood; he started as a cyclo-cross rider and later made road cycling his own. He won several stages in the 2020-2021 Tour of Flemish Brabant. Due to a back injury, he avoids crosses with a lot of twisting and turning.


Mathieu van der Poel follows in his grandfather's footsteps with a lot of titles to his name, including the Amstel Gold Race, the Tour of Flanders and a stage win at the Tour de France. The stage victory allowed him to ride in the yellow jersey for six days. This victory brought a yellow jersey into the family after all, a tribute to Grandpa Raymond.


Poulidor dynastie
Poulidor dynasty


Do you want to be able to shine like Raymond Poulidor in a Mercier-Hutchinson cycling jersey? Or like Adrie van der Poel in a PDM cycling jersey? Then take a look at our collection of retro cycling shirts.


Retro Wielertenue Mercier Hutchinson - REDTEDRETRO WIELERTENUE PDM - WIT


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