France pays final respects to biking hero Poulidor

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SAINT-LEONARD-DE-NOBLAT, France (Information) – Mourners on the funeral of Raymond Poulidor on Tuesday paid tribute to a French bike owner who by no means achieved his objective of profitable the Tour de France however within the course of received widespread admiration for his braveness and integrity.

FILE PHOTO: Former French bike owner Raymond Poulidor is seen on the rostrum of the 168.5 km ninth stage of the centenary Tour de France biking race from Saint-Girons to Bagneres-de-Bigorre July 7, 2013. Information/Eric Gaillard/File Photograph

Poulidor was given a closing send-off in his hometown within the Limoges area of central France, the agricultural heartland the place he grew up because the son of poor farmers and the place he died final week aged 83.

Members of the family and biking dignitaries crammed into the tiny church in Saint-Leonard-de-Noblat, whereas a number of hundred individuals stood within the city sq. exterior watching the funeral service on a giant display.

Poulidor completed the Tour de France on the rostrum eight occasions however by no means got here first.

He was competing within the 1960s and 1970s concurrently two of biking’s best champions – Jacques Anquetil and Eddie Merckx – who every received the tour 5 occasions, repeatedly pushing Poulidor off the highest spot.

However his perpetual runner-up standing made Poulidor a favourite with the general public.

Addressing the funeral service on Tuesday, Christian Prudhomme, the director of the Tour de France, stated Poulidor stood for instance to everybody of how to achieve success with out forgetting your integrity.

“If Raymond is cherished a lot, it’s as a result of he was an important champion, after all, but in addition as a result of he was an individual of nice humanity,” stated Prudhomme.

“His values of braveness, of labor, of respect to your roots, for the place you’re from, are everlasting.”

Poulidor’s grandson Mathieu Van der Poel can also be an expert bike owner.

Standing close to Poulidor’s coffin, which was draped with orange and purple flowers, Prudhomme stated he hoped to see Van der Poel competing for the primary time within the Tour de France in 2021.

If he’s on the beginning line, Prudhomme stated, addressing Van der Poel who was among the many mourners, “there can be a whole lot of love for you.”

Reporting by Christian Lowe; Enhancing by Hugh Lawson