Raymond Poulidor is a icon, a treasure of cycling. In France, Poupou became part of our family, even part of our vocabulary. I hope that for many more years to come, bystanders in France who see a kid ride his bike hard still heckle "Allez Poupou!"
Given he wrote his name into the French language, he will never be forgotten. Never in the history of the sport has a man been so much more famous for what he didn't achieve than for what he did. And he achieved plenty outside of his formidable Tour record, too. He is perhaps more beloved, more iconic, more revered and definitely better remembered for the fact he never got to take home the big prize than he ever would have been had he finally crossed that line and become a one-and-done Tour winner. His story will always be part of Pro Cycling 101: Things You Simply Must Know As A Cycling Fan. He has been since time immemorial, and likely will remain for years to come, the definitive answer to the oft-posed question, who is the best stage racer to never win the Tour - simply because he was so close so many times, and the only thing that stopped him was not one, but two of the all-time greatest, and one can only imagine what kind of palmarès he could have accumulated with his talent, had he not had the misfortune to coincide with dominant champions like Anquetil and Merckx.