Albert Bourlon, the record holder for the Tour de France's longest successful breakaway, crossed the finish line of life at age 96 on Wednesday, according to AFP.
Bourlon competed in his first Tour de France in 1938, but World War II interrupted his career as well as the race.
He was 30 when he lined up for the 1947 Tour de France, the year he would earn his claim to fame. On stage 14 he attacked from the gun on the 253km stage between Carcassonne and Luchon, and miraculously, his solo escape worked and he won the stage. He finished the Tour in 21st place behind winner Jean Robic.
Bourlon died in Bourges, where a velodrome is named in his honour.