Hors ligne

Raymond Poulidor, born on April 15, 1936, was a cycling champion and remains the darling of the French. “Poupou’s” was known as “l’éternel second” because he never won the Tour de France, even though he won just about every other major race. He entered the Tour 14 times, completed it 12 times, came in third five times, second three times, but never wore the yellow jersey. He was the son of farmers and often worked a full day before training. He endeared himself by saying that “no race, no matter how hard, was ever as long as a harvest.” He said that in a single race, he could win as much as six years of work on the farm. People cheered him on like David tackling Goliath when he came up short in the Tour time after time. He figures he was more popular than if he’d won. Sociologists even named the phenomenon of “also rans” the Poulidor effect. He still rides today at the age of 75 in his home near where he was born.

Today’s expression “hors ligne” (oar leanyuh) means “in a class by itself.” If your review Raymond Poulidor’s record of major wins below, I think you may decide that “hors ligne” is a better nickname than “l’éternal second.”  

    • 1964 Vuelta a España
    • Vuelta a España 4 Stage wins
    • Tour de France 7 Stage wins
    • Milan – San Remo (1961)
    • La Flèche Wallonne (1963)
    • Grand Prix des Nations (1963)
    • Critérium International (1964, 1966, 1968, 1971–72)
    • Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré (1966, 1969)
    • Paris–Nice (1972–73)

Poulidor Intime



About Patricia Gilbert

Patricia Gilbert is a French teacher. She's Canadian, lives in the United States, but dreams of living in France. Follow her on Instagram @Onequalitythefinest and on Twitter @1qualthefinest.
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1 Response to Hors ligne

  1. Pingback: La Grande Boucle | One quality, the finest.

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