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Echoes

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Re: RIP/ memorial announcements
« Reply #90 on: November 20, 2019, 12:28 »
Raymond Poulidor's funeral was celebrated yesterday, in his own Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat in the Limousin, where he passed away.

I read somewhere that 2,000 people were expected at the ceremony (Ouest-France says there more than 1,000 people ), while the village itself counts 5,000. Inside the small church, 500 people were present but many more outside of it. Some campsites have been reopened to welcome the many camping cars of fans who made it to Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat. Some past greats were there as well: Bernard Thévenet and Bernard Hinault carried the coffin, Lucien Aimar had nice words for him, he said that Poulidor never showed any signs of envy/jealousy (Aimar was rival Jacques Anquetil's teammate), Marc Madiot and André Darrigade were also present and Luc Leblanc who had personally known him since childhood. Of course the family with Mathieu, David and Adrie Van der Poel. Mathieu left the message that his mother emotionally said: "You were so proud to be my grandfather and I am even prouder to be your grandson. You are my greatest champion".

Some tragic facts made me think a bit. Actually I knew for years that Raymond Poulidor was sort of addicted to his fame and popularity, to being in contact with the public. He couldn't live without it and has openly confessed it several times. A bit more than 10 years ago, I was offered his autobiography "Poulidor intime" in which he had these words:

"J'aime ce contact avec le public. Il est sûr que je vivrais très mal le fait de ne plus être reconnu dans la rue. De toute façon, le jour où je ne pourrai plus assurer ces animations et ces rencontre avec le public, cela voudrait dire que la fin est proche"

Which I would translate as:

"I like/love this contact with the public. It's for sure that I would feel very bad if I'm no longer recognised in the street. Anyway, the I would no longer be able to make these animations and meetings with the public, that would mean that the end is close".

The book was published in 2010. When reading that I remember saying to myself something like: "this seemingly indestructible and super healthy man has a weakness, here". I didn't really think that that would eventually kill him but it clearly was a weakness.

I recently read an article that saddened me an awful lot. Last September, Poulidor was expected to go the a Leclerc supermarket in Fleury-Les-Aubrais, in the outskirts of Orléans, where he would go pretty much every year to sell and dedicate books. It's about a 3h drive from Saint-Léonard de Noblat and he would always do that on his own, by car. This year he was to do it as well. He never reached Fleury ... He was very weak and tired and got lost in the Orléans suburbs. The next day he was taken to hospital. I didn't know that at all...  :(

Marc Madiot in an interview after the news report that he passed away was that he would leave a great void after him because you could see him on pretty much every French race from Bessèges or La Marseillaise to the Tour of France of course. I don't know if also this year he was present in the French season openers but at age 82/83 still touring round every peloton race to be in contact with the public must've been extremely exhaustive.

Poulidor also went to Narosse in the French Basque country last April to celebrate André Darrigade's 90th birthday, as you can see on the YT clip below (1.28). Darrigade remember that is was very fit that day. The former great sprinter met again with Poulidor during the Pau stage of the Tour of France. That day he wasn't well, was tired and then he had him on the phone when he was home and he wasnt well at all.

The last time I read about Poulidor was during the same Tour of France. I read an interview of his, talking about Wout Van Aert. He had nice words for his grandson's main rival. I was about to share it with you on these boards here but couldn't find the time. It was really amazing to see a 83 year old guy still so clear-minded about present-day cycling. But he really did too much.

I'm saying all this because I sometimes fear that all these past greats who are still so hyped today might go the same way. I saw Merckx reacting to Poulidor's death. He didn't look good at all either. De Vlaeminck has also been hospitalised, he felt tired. Now he's in a course of antibiotics but feeling better. These guys who formerly raced in the advent of live television were enjoying fame as riders and cannot really live without it. They should rest a bit, I think and stop saying yes to any press invitations, methinks.  :angel


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  • "Paris-Roubaix is the biggest cycling race in the world, bigger than the Tour de France, bigger than any other bike race" (Sir Bradley Wiggins)

    DJW

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    M Gee

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    Re: RIP/ memorial announcements
    « Reply #92 on: March 04, 2020, 02:09 »
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/51727405

    :O
    Another WOW. Nico Portal. 40. That's crazy. Is it just me, or does it seem like the past few years have seen a LOT of young athletes dying from heart attacks?

    He WILL be missed. I, and others, have been giving him credit for the lion's share of Sky/Ineos' "luck" in the grand tours. I'm not sure what to say about the upcoming seasons without him. This year is going to be absolutely crazy, anyway, because of covid 19. Just nuts.
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  • . . .He had the bit between his teeth, and he loiked the taste, mate . . .

    AG

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    Re: RIP/ memorial announcements
    « Reply #93 on: March 04, 2020, 04:15 »
    so sad  :(     way too young
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  • t-72

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    Re: RIP/ memorial announcements
    « Reply #94 on: March 04, 2020, 06:59 »
    Portal was one of those who retired from racing due to heart issues, wasn´t he?

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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: RIP/ memorial announcements
    « Reply #95 on: March 04, 2020, 07:09 »
    Portal was one of those who retired from racing due to heart issues, wasn´t he?
    Don't know if he retired because of it, but he did have a heart condition.
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    Re: RIP/ memorial announcements
    « Reply #96 on: March 04, 2020, 07:57 »
    "Having to call time on my racing career was obviously a difficult one, but the birth of my first child last year changed my outlook a lot and taking this decision now means my heart condition is never going to worsen and I'll always be able to lead a normal life", is what he said in 2010

    https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/team-sky-hands-knaven-and-portal-directeur-sportif-roles/
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    Joelsim

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    Re: RIP/ memorial announcements
    « Reply #97 on: March 04, 2020, 10:39 »
    Don't know if he retired because of it, but he did have a heart condition.

    Arrhythmia kept him out for 2009, he raced in 2010 and then quit due to the condition.
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  • Echoes

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    Re: RIP/ memorial announcements
    « Reply #98 on: March 05, 2020, 20:46 »
    Not willing to make you cry even more after such a sad news but after stage 4 of the 2006 Tour of France which ended in Saint-Quentin, in Northern France, Picardy, a good friend of mine, then living in Cambrai (département du Nord, not far away) visited the race at the finish. He was a CEI fan (Caisse d'Épargne - Illes Balears, not sure about the spelling) and Nico Portal had just joined the team. He had the pleasure to see Nico with a few mates of his. Nicolas would spend over an hour chatting with them. That was unusual for a pro rider. He was too nice with people. At that time, my friend started to take some distance with cycling but he did send me a picture the next day. I thought I still had it but couldn't find it back. I really remember his writing on Messenger: "Now, he's my favourite rider, Portal". :)

     
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  • Echoes

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    Re: RIP/ memorial announcements
    « Reply #99 on: March 25, 2020, 23:57 »
    I just got the news that Italo De Zan passed away on March 9 from coronavirus, at age 94. He was living in Treviso, so that's in Veneto, not Lombardy.

    He won a stage at the 1948 Tour of Italy and finished 3rd at the 1947 Tour of Lombardy behind no other than Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali.

    The first cycling personality to die from the current pandemic, I think.

    I've always wondered whether he was related to the famous Rai commentator Adriano De Zan.

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  • Echoes

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    Re: RIP/ memorial announcements
    « Reply #100 on: March 30, 2020, 21:56 »
    How many are we going to lose?  :(

    Danilo Barozzi passed away last Thursday, 25 March, also to Covid-19, at age 92. He was from Emily-Romagna, a region that was heavily infected by the epidemic but he passed away in the Province of Ancona, much further South, in a region that is, as far as I know, less infected.

    Barozzi won a stage at the Tour of Catalunya, twice the Gran Premio Industria e Commercio di Prato (1954 & 1956), was 3rd at the 1953 Tour of Switzerland and 4th at the 1952 Tour of Lombardy.





    Praying that his former teammate at Atala Arrigo Padovan will survive this. He's still alive, same age, and living in Veneto, so much exposed.  :o
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