The Tour de France's moving tribute to Poulidor and MVDP

On July 9, Mathieu van der Poel was overcome with emotion on the starting podium of Sunday's Tour de France stage 9 in Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat as he honored the memory of his grandfather Raymond Poulidor, who died in 2019.

"It's good to be here, a bit difficult...", stammered the Dutch cycling star, unable to continue, as he had just been presented with a Mercier track bike that belonged to his maternal grandfather, the legendary "Poupou", to whom he was very close. 

On that day, his Alpecin team provided him with an outfit and a bike specially decorated for the occasion. Black and white photos of "Poupou"'s exploits were affixed to the frame. These included the famous photo of his duel with Jacques Anquetil on the climb up the Puy de Dôme. A climb that Mathieu Van der Poel completed for the first time this Sunday, at the very end of the stage.. 

Photo credit: AFP, Tim de Waele  |  Crédits : Getty Images, Vincent Kalut  |  Crédits : Photo News / Panoramic