History, it seems, retains only the winners. Yet no one has forgotten Raymond Poulidor, the eternal second. The story of Poulidor is that of a Limousin kid, a farmer's son who goes on an unpretentious bike. The young Raymond is a very good student, but not at all better. He wins his first races. Professional in 1960, champion of France the following year, he won the mythical Milan-San Remo (Italy) and the Tour of Spain. France discovers a champion full of humility.
But Poulidor falls on stronger: Jacques Anquetil. In the 1960s, their rivalry is one of the most beautiful of the sport. Anquetil wins five times the Tour de France. Poulidor accompanies him on the catwalks, but never on the highest step. In 1964, the rise of the puy de Dôme embodies the high point of their rivalry. Anquetil is yellow, but tired. Poulidor attacks 1 km from the summit, but too late. That day, he misses 14 seconds to dethrone Anquetil. Anquetil appears cold, when Poulidor looks warmer. “Poupou” becomes the darling of the French. Of the 14 laps he has played, he will finish three times 2nd and five times 3rd, but never in yellow. The height of history, Poulidor was in recent years the ambassador of the brand that sponsors the yellow jersey. During his career, he will win the trifle of 187 races. Not bad for an eternal second.
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