Another British eight-year-old conquers the Tourmalet

The young British rider put in a solo ascent of the famous French mountain

Another British Eight-year-old Conquers The Tourmalet

For many, riding the famous cols and climbs of the Tour de France is something to be done in adult life. But for a growing number of youngsters, ascending climbs like the Col du Tourmalet is now something to be done before they ve left primary school. Earlier this year we reported on Alfie Earl1, who at eight-years-old was possibly the youngest rider to make it to the top of the Tourmalet.

>>> Icons of cycling: the Col du Tourmalet2

He s now been joined in that achievement by compatriot Rafe Cushway, who recently conquered the famous climb during a solo ride. The youngster covered the 16km from St Marie de Campan to the summit in an unofficial time of just under two hours. The Col du Tourmalet has been used 85 times in the Tour de France3, most recently as the first climb on stage eight4 of this year s Grande Boucle.

The summit tops out at 2115 metres, which contributes to its Hors Cat gorie classification.

Another British Eight-year-old Conquers The Tourmalet

Ascending through the fog, almost at the summit

Rafe s parents were present on the mountain at the time, but kept their distance to allow him to ride his own way up through the fog. His dad wasn t too far away, driving the climb behind one of Rafe s older brothers. Now resident in France, all three Cushway brothers Rafe, 8, Max, 12, and Charlie, 14 have come through the local ecole de velo and compete in road, track and cyclocross events.


  1. ^ we reported on Alfie Earl (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  2. ^ >>> Icons of cycling: the Col du Tourmalet (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  3. ^ Tour de France (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  4. ^ as the first climb on stage eight (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)

Merkel Cuts Short Vacation, Returns to Face Stunned German People


(REUTERS) Merkel returns to Berlin to hold a news conference at 12 p.m. (1100 GMT) after a spate of attacks since July 18 left 15 people dead including four attackers and dozens injured.

Two assailants, a Syrian asylum seeker and a refugee from either Pakistan or Afghanistan, had links to Islamist militancy, officials say.


The attacks have burst any illusions in Germany that the country is immune to attacks like those claimed by Islamic State in neighbouring France. Politicians from left and right say Merkel s refugee policy is at fault, after more than a million migrants entered Germany in the past year, many fleeing war in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.

All our predictions have been proven right, Horst Seehofer, Bavaria s state premier and a long-standing critic of Merkel s open-door refugee policy, said on Tuesday. Islamist terrorism has arrived in Germany. Seehofer demanded that Merkel s government adopt tougher security measures and tighter immigration policies.

Merkel has been on Discount Holidays © holiday in northern Germany since chairing a security meeting on Saturday, leaving Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere who twice returned from vacation in the last 10 days to present the government s response. Unlike French President Francois Hollande, who on Tuesday visited Normandy where two assailants killed a priest, Merkel has not been to the scene of any of the attacks in Germany an absence that has raised questions about her leadership.

How big will the pressure on Merkel be? asked mass-selling daily Bild. Business daily Handelsblatt said: Above all, the new situation puts the chancellor in a difficult position.

Merkel s popularity, already eroded by the refugee crisis, is likely to suffer again after a temporary boost following Britain s vote last month to leave the European Union.

After a 27-year-old Syrian with Islamist ties blew himself up in the town of Ansbach on Sunday, Sahra Wagenknecht of the far-left Linke party criticised as flippant Merkel s mantra of Wir schaffen das , or We can do this, for handling the influx.

The events of recent days show that the admission and integration of a large number of refugees and migrants is associated with many problems, Wagenknecht said.

Living Your Brand – Health and Fitness Travel

Living Your Brand - Health And Fitness Travel

By By Paul Joseph, co-founder of Health and Fitness Travel1

Living Your Brand - Health And Fitness Travel In 2010 we launched Health and Fitness Travel, a travel company which specialises in creating tailor-made wellness holidays worldwide. Our business started as the brainchild of myself and my friend, to work on what we loved wellness and travel. With the travel industry so competitive, it was important we found a niche; to become the leading experts on wellness travel and always remain the experts.

We knew that our customers wouldn t give up on their holidays, as we are fortunate that we built a brand around healthy experiences for people looking to invest in their well-being and escape from their pressured working environments. I grew up a dreamer and the dream of creating a wellness hub providing a personalised service that recognised what the true meaning of a wellness Discount Holidays © holiday is, became my motivation and eventually a reality. Travel and wellness had always been a big influence on my life, which started with my mother taking me on spa & well-being trips, experiencing travel at a young age, thanks to her job at the time. I ve been practising yoga for 14 years now and when I m not working in the office, I m focussed on living a healthy lifestyle and scouring the planet for the perfect destinations to suit a legion of clients seeking to improve or maintain their health while on holiday.

Living Your Brand - Health And Fitness Travel

Before we launched Health and Fitness Travel, it was easy to book a spa holiday, but not a wellness holiday. There was not a travel company which created bespoke wellness holidays worldwide for both men and women, it was important I created something which I knew would grow as more people began choosing to live a healthy lifestyle. My business partner and I worked obsessively for years, six years on we have an international business sending thousands of clients away each year to focus on their health and fitness around the world.

I ve always stayed true to my values and been creative, consistent to our brand voice and had an effective PR and marketing strategy, staying focussed on building our brand name and reputation. Regardless of the business we happen to run, all of us need to understand the importance of branding, my most important job is to be head marketer for our brand. Being true to my brand is one of the ways we create relevant and competitive differentiation that sets us apart and builds our business. Our brand is about creating an emotional connection with our customers, so we cannot have happy customers if we do not have happy employees. None of our team are defined by their job title and confined by their job description, we are a brand and multiple minds working together arrive at the best results.

Living Your Brand - Health And Fitness Travel

We are constantly building relationships with the media, our audience and suppliers. Wellness travel was a very niche market when we entered it 6 years ago, but now it s becoming more mainstream and projected to grow nearly 50% faster than overall global tourism. In 2012 we started creating our own exclusive tailor-made wellness programmes such as our Fusion Fitness holidays2 which now operate in over 50 hotels worldwide. We work very closely with our suppliers to build packages our clients want. In order to reach our audience, and really connect with them, it s important we stay true to what s in our DNA. I believe the reason we are successful is because we have a genuine passion and interest in what we do, and care about our customers making sure they have the best experience before, during and after their holiday.

We also work very hard to make sure we have the best product and stay ahead of the trends. One of the best parts of my job is hearing all the positive feedback we receive every week from our clients who return from our holidays feeling totally rejuvenated. It s so satisfying to have them call and email us to tell us what a fantastic healthy Discount Holidays © holiday experience they have and how they can t wait to book the next trip with us. This shows everything we do and all our hard work is worthwhile. We will continue to mould and shape our brand, it s an asset that we must protect and manage with the intention of always helping others benefit from having a relationship and good experience with us.

I ve always seen myself living through the lens of my brand which has made me more mindful about how I approach the personal brand we continue to build. Living my brand requires a great amount of self-awareness, action and accountability.

About Health and Fitness Travel:

Health and Fitness Travel is a global luxury wellness travel company that originated in the UK in 2010 and is committed to providing healthy holidays that enhance and change lives. Created by Paul Joseph and Adam Heathcote as a result of their passion for health and fitness travel and offering bespoke holidays to improve people s well-being to lead happier and healthier lives. Health and Fitness Travel offers clients a tailor-made seamless service with the very best health and fitness holidays, handpicked by its expert team, together with exclusive and added value packages with the best deals. As leading specialists, Health and Fitness Travel has also created their own collection of trademark healthy holidays in various destinations which include Fusion Fitness BodyBreaks and Discover Recover , offering clients the best value and Discount Holidays © holiday experience.

For more information visit: www.healthandfitnesstravel.com3

Follow us on Twitter4 (@hf_travel)


  1. ^ Health and Fitness Travel (www.healthandfitnesstravel.com)
  2. ^ Fusion Fitness holidays (www.healthandfitnesstravel.com)
  3. ^ www.healthandfitnesstravel.com (www.healthandfitnesstravel.com)
  4. ^ Twitter (twitter.com)