Stuart Heritage

Icons of cycling: L’Auto, the newspaper that launched the Tour de France

The paper that launched the Tour de France has a combative history, writes Giles Belbin

Icons Of Cycling: L’Auto, The Newspaper That Launched The Tour De France

In the early 1900s a battle was raging on the print presses and newsstands of France. In one corner was Le V lo, printed on green paper and edited by Pierre Giffard. In the other was L Auto-V lo, printed on yellow paper and edited by a former cyclist going by the name of Henri Desgrange. Le V lo first appeared in 1892, capitalising on the burgeoning interest in cycling. Organising its own races, it went from strength to strength throughout the 1890s and its future was seemingly secure. Then came the Dreyfus affair.

>>> Tour de France 2016 route and essential guide1

In 1894 Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer in the French army, was convicted of spying. France quickly divided into those who considered Dreyfus a traitor and those who thought him a victim of anti-Semitism. Giffard supported Dreyfus and wasn t shy about saying so, despite many of the industrialists upon whom Le V lo relied for advertising feeling differently. After one of his major backers, Alfred de Dion, was arrested in 1899 while demonstrating against the pardoning of Dreyfus, he and Giffard argued.

De Dion pulled his advertising and set about establishing a rival paper.

Valiant efforts

Backed by a consortium put together by de Dion and edited by Desgrange, the first edition of L Auto-V lo was published on October 16, 1900. It proclaimed its existence a necessity of the time. It will sing valiantly every day the glory of athletes, it cheered. For three years the papers traded punches with neither able to land a knockout blow. L Auto-V lo launched its own races, sometimes barely disguised copies of Le V lo s own events.

>>> Icons of cycling: The Champs-Elys es2

Giffard meanwhile launched a legal challenge which forced Desgrange s paper to drop V lo from its title. If Giffard thought he had at last landed a haymaker, he was wrong. Desgrange fought back and on January 19, 1903, just three days after the enforced name change, L Auto s front page carried an announcement that would finally consign Le V lo to the history books: The Tour de France3: the greatest cycle race in the world.

A winning gamble

While Giffard was focusing on one-day races, Desgrange had taken a bold leap into the unknown and launched a race around the entire country. It was a gamble that paid off in spades. Circulation of L Auto soared as the hyperbolic prose of Desgrange and his team captured the super-human exploits of France s new heroes in their daily despatches from the roadsides of France.

Giffard simply couldn t compete and the writing was on the wall. In 1904 Le V lo finally folded.

>>> CW125 Anniversary Sportive Cycling Weekly Sportive Series4

L Auto, empowered by owning the world s greatest bike race, continued until 1944 when it closed during the liberation of France after cooperating with the occupying German regime. In its place came a new sports paper edited by a former L Auto writer Jacques Goddet that thrives to this day: L Equipe.


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Food Network to Premiere GUY & HUNTER’S EUROPEAN VACATION, 2/5

Food Network To Premiere GUY & HUNTER'S EUROPEAN VACATION, 2/5Guy Fieri and his eldest son, Hunter Fieri,embark on the ultimate food-filled adventure on GUY & HUNTER’S EUROPEAN VACATION, premiering Friday, February 5th at 10pm ET/PT on Food Network. Viewers have seen Hunter grow up on DINERS, DRIVE-INS AND DIVES1 and Guy’s Big Bite. Now, for his high school graduation Guy is giving him the experience of a lifetime – a vacation to visit 13 different cities in seven European countries to fully discover a whole new world of cuisine.

It is an international culinary journey throughout THE FIVE2 half-hour long episodes, as the father-son duo discover the origins of quintessential delicacies from England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. “Guy & Hunter’s European Vacation is the passport to some of the best food in the world. Viewers will be transported by Guy and Hunter’s travels as they explore the history and cultural traditions of classic foods and ingredients from across the globe,” said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President Programming, Food Network. The trip kicks off in Greece, where Guy and Hunter learn the secrets behind making the perfect gyro in Athens, and then they get a lesson on how to fire things up old-school style at a local barbecue rotisserie restaurant. Next, they head over to Crete where they get a taste of how the locals enjoy all the fruits of the land and the Mediterranean Sea. First, they head out on the open waters to learn how to fish for lobster. Then, in the countryside they visit a generations-old farm to learn how to get the freshest dairy, beginning with the first step – milking a sheep! Before they continue on their trek, they sit down for a traditional family-style Greek dinner filled with delicious regional dishes. The mouthwatering fun doesn’t stop there.

While traveling and connecting with the cultural traditions through the local delectable delights, the duo makes a pit stop to reunite with relatives in Sesto Calende, Italy to uncover where the Fieri family originates. They also get a blast from the past in Chantilly, France where they visit the house that Guy lived in as a teenage exchange student. Along the way, Hunter and Guy make the perfect cup of cappuccino in Rome, commandeer a gondola in Venice, and witness the making of true Parmigiano-Reggiano in Parma. They also enjoy authentic Swiss fondue, twist pretzels in Germany, and learn the surprising and intricate traditions behind true French croissants and English fish ‘n chips. The trip winds down in Spain, where Guy’s wife, Lori, and younger son, Ryder, meet them to share a special Spanish paella dinner.

Fans can live vicariously through Guy and Hunter on with special photos and videos from the adventure, and they can talk about their trip on Twitter using #GuyAndHunter.

Guy & Hunter’s European Vacation is produced by Citizen Pictures.


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Boys on tour: a travel guide for gentlemen

For a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, a gentleman-only trip strictly no wives and girlfriends allowed is sometimes the best way to go

By Adrian Dangar

A gentleman-only Discount Holidays © holiday is a pink ticket to overindulge in those manly pursuits that are so often constrained by domesticity, among them a host of iconic sporting events and opportunities that most responsible men can only dream of enjoying to the full. With WAGs left behind, the trappings of civilised life can be temporarily abandoned in favour of shameless hedonism shared by all members of the party and, among close friends, there will be no need to suppress or disguise a uniquely male and somewhat unhealthy obsession with your chosen activity. Such opportunities are rare for modern man, but a milestone birthday has become the classic excuse for such outrageous self-indulgence. Whatever you decide upon, the trip must work after all, it may be 10 years before there s another chance and that means only the best will do: the most comfortable and perfectly located places to stay, the world s greatest rivers, shoots and sporting events and, when relevant, the top guides to guarantee success.

Matching such high expectations with reality doesn t come cheap, but here s our selection of boy s own trips that won t disappoint.

A week s salmon fishing in Russia

A boys-only fishing trip is always an event to be savoured, but a week on the Atlantic Salmon Reserve in Russia s Kola Peninsula ticks every box. The reserve is home to some of the biggest salmon in Russia and the Rynda an absolute jewel of a river, on which guests fish in pairs under the expert direction of a superb Russian guide. Access to the remote but fabulously comfortable fishing lodge is by helicopter from Murmansk, but, for many, the highlight of an extraordinary week will be 24 exclusive hours on the tiny, but beguiling Zolotaya, with just your fishing buddy and guide for company an experience that few WAGs could ever understand. Book direct through Justin McCarthy at the Atlantic Salmon Reserve (; www.kharlovka.com2)

Boys On Tour: A Travel Guide For Gentlemen

First Murmansk Open Fly Fishing Cup at 28, 29th June 2008: Songui Kola River Kola Peninsula Russian Arctic

A riding safari in Kenya

Join legendary guide Tristan Voorspuy on a Wilbur Smithesque week-long riding adventure within a private concession of the game-rich Masai plains in Kenya. You will need to be fit enough to ride for up to eight hours a day on well-schooled Thoroughbreds and can expect exciting encounters with lions, buffaloes and elephants along the way, not to mention dodging crocodiles and hippos when crossing the iconic Mara River.

Nights are spent at exquisite and carefully selected campsites in which every comfort awaits (there s no need to tell your wife this), such as ice for your favourite cocktail, bush showers and delicious food cooked over an open fire. To arrange a trip with Mr Voorspuy, contact Charlotte Outram () at Offbeat Safaris

(00 254 704 909 355; www.offbeatsafaris.com4)

Boys On Tour: A Travel Guide For Gentlemen

Zebra in Amboseli Nationalpark, Kenya

Ireland for the RBS 6 Nations 2016

Fly into Dublin on Friday morning and transfer to the Castle Golf Club for brunch and a round before checking into the city s famous Shelbourne hotel (, which is also temporary home to the Irish rugby team. The celebrated contest for the Championship Trophy will be hotting up by the time Ireland play Scotland on March 19 next year at the Aviva Stadium, where you ll have reserved seats on the premium level for what also promises to be a thrilling contest for the Centenary Quaich. It s party time once the game is over and time to repair to the Caf en Seine to soak up the atmosphere and Guinness in equal measure a stone s throw from your hotel and you have the whole of Sunday
to recover.

For the tournament schedule, visit www.rbs6nations.com6

Boys On Tour: A Travel Guide For Gentlemen

Brian O Driscoll gets to grips with Stuart Hogg, Scotland v Ireland, RBS 6 Nations Championship

A week at a Highland lodge

The huge advantage of a boys-only trip to the Highlands is that there will be no tedious complaints about midges, bathwater, the colour of whisky or long days on the hill. Booking a pretty cook for your week-long stay in a private lodge allows more time for the important business of procuring
the elusive Macnab a brace of grouse, a stag and a salmon all on the same day. It s a lot harder to achieve than it sounds, but there is a handful of Highland estates that offer a realistic chance given the right conditions. Even if no one succeeds in outwitting all three emblematic species in a single day, you ll have a wonderful time trying. For a wide range of lodge-based stalking, shooting and fishing
trips, contact CKD Galbraith s sporting department in Perth.

(01738 451600;

Boys On Tour: A Travel Guide For Gentlemen

Lochassynt lodge, near Loch Assynt, and Quinag massif of Torridonian sandstone, Sutherland, Highland region, Scotland, Europe

A weekend in Le Mans for the 24-hour motor race

Fly by private charter to Le Mans in France for the greatest motor race in the world (June 18 19, 2016) and book into the Maison Blanche campsite (www.campingfrance.com8) for an experience that has become as much of a tradition as the race itself. Arrive in time to soak up the carnival atmosphere of Mad Friday and the driver s parade that evening in the old part of town. The 24-hour-long race kicks off at 3pm the following afternoon and continues throughout the night at speeds in excess of 200mph. Refreshments are available from numerous Champagne bars but, better still, be wined and dined in a team s private hospitality tent invitation only. Sadly, there are still some things money cannot buy. For the race schedule, visit www.24h-lemans.com9

Boys On Tour: A Travel Guide For Gentlemen

Sunrise at Mulsanne, 24 Hueres Du Mans 2006

Dove shooting in Argentina

The ultimate boys own trip for the shooting man starts with a direct British Airways flight to the fabulous city of Buenos Aires. After a night on the town, fly up to Cordoba and shoot more than 100 wild doves flighting to and from their feeding grounds (there are some 100 million at large in the province) before enjoying an alfresco lunch in the sunshine Argentine beef asado washed down with cold beer and Malbec.

The post-siesta shoot continues into dusk, after which it s time to repair to a sumptuous colonial estanc a for a hot bath and further sustenance; repeat for the next four days. For the keen shot, there is no better way to celebrate a milestone birthday with close friends. Book through Wild & Exotic (01439 748401;

Boys On Tour: A Travel Guide For Gentlemen

Cordoba Cathedral at night, Cordoba, Argentina, South America

French-partridge shooting in Spain

Extend your shooting season up until the end of March with a visit to the steep hills and rolling plains of Salamanca province. Your quarry is the red-legged partridge and your party will stay for the duration of a three-day shoot at the superbly appointed Las Ahijaderas Lodge as guests of the Sanchez-Fabres family. Produced over deep valleys and rocky gullies, the birds are both challenging and numerous and the accuracy of each gun will be recorded for posterity by his personal secretario.

After a full day in the field broken by a delicious lunch served by liveried butlers there may still be time for a tour of the family s bull-breeding ranch a short distance away. To book a trip, contact Frontiers (0845 299 6212;

Boys On Tour: A Travel Guide For Gentlemen

The steep hills and rolling plains of the Salamanca province

Heli-skiing in the Alps

A long weekend heli-skiing is about as exciting as it gets on two legs and, with ladies out of the equation, the sky s the limit for adrenaline junkies wanting to ski down as many mountains in as short a time as possible. Top mountain guide and Englishman in exile Anthony Franklin will leave instructions at Geneva airport for you to drive to the Swiss or Italian Alps depending on the latest snowfalls.

He will also organise the best hotels for your stay and guide your group down mountains so high and remote that few without wings ever contemplate a visit.

Above all, he ll keep you safe and in snow throughout a thrilling alpine adventure.


Boys On Tour: A Travel Guide For Gentlemen

Heli skiing from top of Rothorn, Zermatt, Switzerland


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