Monday, July 9, 2007

Mad Props Vol. 7

Raymond Poulidour, 15 juillet 1973 - Portet d'Aspet, France

Raymond Poulidour was an accomplished racer, though he was more famously known as the "eternal second". "Pou Pou", as he was affectionately known, had the misfortune of riding in the shadow of two Tour de France greats, Jacques Anquetil and Eddy Merckx.

While he amassed seven stage wins and eight podium finishes in the TdF (three 2nd's, five 3rd's), Poulidour never once pulled the yellow jersey over his shoulders during his 17 year career (1960-1977).

Poulidour was an underdog of epic proportions and the French public adored him for it. He represented the strength and character of the rural class while Anquetil, in stark contrast, represented the cosmopolitan face of modernization.

Pou Pou was the embodiment of courage and vulnerability. I like to see PROs achieve superhuman accomplishments, but I also like to be reminded that they aren't much different from me as well.

Photo credit: AFP

1 comment:

Ari said...

And his daughter married another eternal second, Adri van der Poel, who got his way bybeating the dynamic duo of Luca Bramati and Daniele Pontoni in that famous cyclocross worlds.