Skip to main content

Mathieu van der Poel rocks Poulidor-inspired kit for Tour de France presentation

Image 1 of 10

Alpecin-Fenix Mathieu van der Poel Poulidor

Alpecin-Fenix Mathieu van der Poel Poulidor (Image credit: Alpecin-Fenix)
Image 2 of 10

Alpecin-Fenix Mathieu van der Poel Poulidor

Alpecin-Fenix Mathieu van der Poel in Poulidor-inspired jersey (Image credit: Alpecin-Fenix)
Image 3 of 10

Alpecin-Fenix Mathieu van der Poel Poulidor

Alpecin-Fenix and Mathieu van der Poel in Poulidor-inspired jersey (Image credit: Alpecin-Fenix)
Image 4 of 10

Alpecin-Fenix Mathieu van der Poel Poulidor

Alpecin-Fenix and Mathieu van der Poel in Poulidor-inspired jersey (Image credit: Alpecin-Fenix)
Image 5 of 10

Alpecin-Fenix Mathieu van der Poel Poulidor

Alpecin-Fenix and Mathieu van der Poel in Poulidor-inspired jersey (Image credit: Alpecin-Fenix)
Image 6 of 10

Alpecin-Fenix Mathieu van der Poel Poulidor

Alpecin-Fenix and Mathieu van der Poel in Poulidor-inspired jersey (Image credit: Alpecin-Fenix)
Image 7 of 10

Alpecin-Fenix Mathieu van der Poel Poulidor

Alpecin-Fenix and Mathieu van der Poel in Poulidor-inspired jersey (Image credit: Alpecin-Fenix)
Image 8 of 10

Alpecin-Fenix Mathieu van der Poel Poulidor

Alpecin-Fenix and Mathieu van der Poel in Poulidor-inspired jersey (Image credit: Alpecin-Fenix)
Image 9 of 10

Alpecin-Fenix Mathieu van der Poel Poulidor

Alpecin-Fenix and Mathieu van der Poel in Poulidor-inspired jersey (Image credit: Alpecin-Fenix)
Image 10 of 10

Alpecin-Fenix Mathieu van der Poel Poulidor

Alpecin-Fenix and Mathieu van der Poel in Poulidor-inspired jersey (Image credit: Alpecin-Fenix)

When Alpecin-Fenix were called up during the Tour de France teams presentation on Thursday evening, a group of riders in purple and amber made their way to the stage. 

The Belgian team had suddenly changed their look, with a kit inspired by team leader Mathieu van der Poel's grandfather, Raymond Poulidor. 

However, they soon confirmed the change was for one night only, and that they'll be racing in their standard navy colours when the race gets underway on Saturday.

The new kit is a nod to the iconic kit worn by Poulidor on the Mercier team in the 1960s and 1970s. Poulidor, who died in 2019, finished on the podium of the Tour eight times without winning it, but his nearly-man status contributed to his status as France's most-loved cyclist. 

His last Tour de France was 45 years ago and now Van der Poel is making his debut, leading he and his team to mark the occasion, with the launch of a charity, MerciPoupou' to honour Poulidor's legacy.

"My grandfather recognized my joy of cycling early on and he always said that me and David were more talented than he was. Today I wish he could be there and experience this moment together with our family," Van der Poel said. 

"He dreamed of this for a long time, but I am sure he is proud as he always was. I am feeling delighted that we can pay an ultimate tribute to him in such an exciting way and that we will be able to say all together 'Merci Poupou'."

The jersey will not be worn in the race but is available to purchase, with the proceeds to go to an initiative that promotes young cyclists. Click here for the details.

Alpecin-Fenix manager Philip Roodhooft added: "We could not let this opportunity pass by. 45 years after Raymond Poulidor finished an incredible career, his grandson Mathieu van der Poel starts for the first time in Le Tour de France. This is a unique chance for Mathieu and the team to pay tribute to his grandfather and to one of the most iconic riders the cycling world has had.

The fact that our partners support 'Merci Poupou' shows their commitment on the long run. Alpecin is the most historical cycling sponsor with a history of 75 years, while Fenix and Canyon are not just looking for a commercial return on their investment. They mainly want to support the team and the riders chasing their dreams. Dreams that found their origin in the cycling heritage we all got introduced to by our own (grand-)parents."

Poulidor never managed to wear the yellow jersey during his storied relationship with the Tour, but Van der Poel has the chance to tick that box on Saturday, as the Tour starts with a punchy stage and a finish that should play to his strengths.