Tour Heroes: "Poupou, The Eternal Second"
Raymond Poulidor will be honored Tuesday when the Tour departs from his hometown.
Some analysts of French cycling see Anquetil and Poulidor as representing different aspects of French society during the period roughly from the early 60?s to the mid-70?s. Anquetil tended to represent the modernizing, technologically-oriented changes that transformed
As such, Poulidor played the role of the underdog, Anquetil the favourite.
In the late 60?s a couple of French journalists sought to puncture ?poupoularite? by divulging that Poulidor was less liked in the peloton than Anquetil ? that in fact he was regarded as a selfish rider while Anquetil was seen as a fair-minded sportsman by his peers. The program was greeted with strong protests.
Poulidor?s ?Poupou? image remained intact and has done so to this day.