Jean Leulliot

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Jean Leulliot (born July 15, 1911 , † February 2, 1982 ) was a French sports journalist and organizer of cycling races .

Journalistic beginnings

In his youth, Jean Leulliot was an active cyclist himself. In 1931 he began his journalistic career with the cycling magazine L'Auto , as a protégé of the editor-in-chief and founder of the Tour de France , Henri Desgrange . In 1937 Desgrange entrusted him with looking after the French team on the tour . In 1938 he worked with the screenwriter Jean Antoine for his film Pour le Maillot Jaune , which was shot during the 1938 tour .

In September 1939, Leulliot was a reporter at the World Railroad Championships in Milan , which were canceled because of the outbreak of World War II . He later reported on his last meeting with the German track world champion in the 1932 sprint , Albert Richter , who was popular in France : “Richter came to our hotel [...]. It was a moving moment when Richter opened his heart to us in private. We'll see each other again soon [...] very soon, he assured us. Then we'll be free. But in the worst moments we will go through, never forget that you have a boyfriend over there. ”A few months later, on January 2, 1940, Richter died in Lörrach prison, allegedly murdered by the Gestapo .

During the German occupation

During the occupation of France by the German Wehrmacht , Leulliot headed the sports department of the La France socialiste magazine , which supported the collaboration with the Germans. During this time, with the benevolence of the Germans, he began to organize cycling races, including the Circuit de France as a replacement for the Tour de France and a Cyclo-Cross de Montmartre .

In June 1942 Leulliot traveled to Spain and returned to France with the conviction that despite the war, a great tour could be organized. The director of the tour, Jacques Goddet , forbade the use of the name Tour de France , and so the race was called Circuit de France . It was held in seven stages between September 28 and October 4, 1942. The organization turned out to be difficult despite German support, as the entrepreneurs were reluctant to get involved financially. Leulliot threatened the French road master Émile Idée with a visit to the Gestapo if the latter refused to start. The race turned out to be a fiasco; 19 of the 68 participants gave up during the first stage, stages had to be shortened and incorrect results were given. In 1943, Leulliot was unable to raise the money for the tour and it was canceled.

After the war, Leulliot was charged with collaboration, but all of his fellow journalists, including Goddet, spoke out in his favor, so he was unpunished. Jean Bobet, the brother of cycling world champion Louison Bobet , published a book about cycling in France during the occupation in 2007 and wrote: "Jean Leulliot a été sauvé par les journalistes sportifs." (= "Jean Leulliot was saved by the sports journalists.")

After the war

From the 1950s onwards, Leulliot founded and organized other races together with Route et Piste magazine , which he himself founded in 1948. In 1951 he took over the organization of Paris-Nice , which was previously called Paris-Côte-d'Azur , introduced the prologue there in 1968 and opened the race in 1974 as the first professional race also for amateurs . In 1959 he extended the race to Rome, an attempt that was unsuccessful and was given up again. He organized numerous other races, such as a Tour d'Europe for amateurs in 1954 ( intended as the western counterpart to the International Peace Tour ), a first Tour de France Féminin in 1955, the Route de France , the Étoile des Espoirs and the Grand Prix de France . To organize the races he founded the company Monde Six .

Jean Leulliot died in 1982. His daughter Josette followed him in the company Monde Six , which was taken over in 1999 by the former racing cyclist Laurent Fignon ; his son Jean-Michel Leulliot also became a sports journalist, his granddaughter Valérie a well-known singer.


  • Jean Bobet: Le vélo à l'heure allemande . La Table ronde, 2007. ISBN 9782710329831
  • Sandrine Viollet: Le Tour de France cycliste: 1903-2005 . L'Harmattan, 2007 ISBN 9782296025059

Individual evidence

  1. Bobet, p. 55
  3. Renate Franz: The forgotten world champion. The mysterious fate of the cyclist Albert Richter . Bielefeld 2007. p. 117
  4. Viollet, p. 137
  5. Bobet, pp. 118-199
  6. Viollet, pp. 137-139
  7. Bobet, pp. 125-131
  8. Viollet, p. 140
  10. a b Guide historique from Paris-Nice on ( Memento of July 17, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 3.0 MB)
  11. Sport, famille et pratiques féminines on, p. 2 (PDF; 190 kB)