|Whats the story behind the stuffed lion the leader holds...||firstrax|
Jul 16, 2002 8:07 PM
|...on the podium?|
Jul 16, 2002 8:53 PM
|Henri Desgrange started the French sports newspaper L'Auto-velo. A feud with a competing sports paper (Le Velo) lead to a law suit. In January of 1903 Le Velo won a trademark suit against its competitor, and L'Auto-velo was forced to become L'Auto.
Looking for a new way to promote the paper and its new name, L'Auto announced later that year, "the greatest cycling trial in the entire world." The promotion worked and a special edition of L'Auto sold 130,000 copies, 100,000 more than the newspaper's circulation had been six months earlier.
Later in 1919 journalist complained the leader ought to wear something distinctive to pick them out of the crowd. Henri decided on a yellow jersey, mainly because L'Auto was printed on yellow paper, so the famous maillot jaune was born.
Today, L'Auto has become L'Equipe, a daily sports newspaper and the yellow color is shared by the jersey's official sponsor, the French bank, Credit Lyonnais. Although Lyonnais does not mean LION - the lion is used as their symbol/logo (perhaps because the provice of Lyonnais has a lion its flag? I don't know).
So, to answer your question. It is a Credit Lyonnais lion.