French cycling's eternal runner-up Raymond Poulidor dies at 83

November 13, 2019

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In this photo taken on July 8, 2014 French former cyclist Raymond Poulidor poses at the departure village in Le Touquet-Paris-Plage prior to the start of the 163.5 km fourth stage of the 101st edition of the Tour de France cycling race. — AFP
In this photo taken on July 8, 2014 French former cyclist Raymond Poulidor poses at the departure village in Le Touquet-Paris-Plage prior to the start of the 163.5 km fourth stage of the 101st edition of the Tour de France cycling race. — AFP

Tour de France organisers say three-time runner-up Raymond Poulidor has died. He was 83.

Poulidor had been hospitalised since early October and “he left us this morning,” his wife Gisele told AFP from their home in western France.

He was admitted to the hospital after a bout of fatigue he suffered during the event, where he worked every summer as an ambassador for the race's yellow-jersey sponsor.

His astonishing career spanned 25 years but he will always be remembered for the races he failed to win.

Poulidor entered French cycling folklore after finishing on the podium eight times without ever winning the sport's showcase event.

He participated in 14 Tours de France from 1962-76, placing second three times and third five times.