Spanish cycling legend and trailblazer Miguel Poblet died Saturday of renal deficiency in Barcelona. He was 85.
Considered the best Catalan rider ever and a groundbreaking rider who became the first Spaniard to wear the yellow jersey at the Tour de France, Poblet raced professionally from 1944, when he was only 16 years old, until 1962.
He wore the yellow jersey in 1955, becoming the first Spanish rider to wear the Tour’s leader’s jersey. Among his 200 professional victories were two Milano-Sanremo wins, in 1957 and 1959, and 26 grand-tour stages, with 20 in the Giro d’Italia and three each in the Vuelta a España and Tour.
Poblet came close to winning Paris-Roubaix, finishing second by inches in 1958 and taking third in 1960. He was the only Spaniard to reach the Roubaix podium until Juan Antonio Flecha in 2005.
Nicknamed the “yellow arrow,” Poblet was a natural-born sprinter who could also climb. His parents owned a bicycle shop in Barcelona, and Poblet gained a professional license when he was still in high school.
After retiring, he helped organize the Volta a Catalunya and served as the Catalan cycling federation president.