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Tro-Bro Léon: Cycling’s coolest race poster is unveiled

Officials from Tro-Bro Léon unveiled the poster for the 2023 edition featuring, yes, a pig.

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Cycling’s coolest race poster was unveiled Wednesday featuring, yes, you guessed it, a pig.

Organizers from Tro-Bro Léon, the small French one-day race that’s earned a spot in the hearts of cycling fans everywhere, released the poster for the 2023 edition.

Race founder Jean-Paul Mellouët designs the annual poster, and this year’s edition features Breton rider Laurent Pichon from Arkéa-Samsic who’s raced the event 11 times.

The one-day race — set for May 7 — traces across a mix of gravel and cobbled paths, called ribins, and narrow farm roads around northern France.

About 30km of the race’s 200km distance are on the unpaved sectors, not quite a Paris-Roubaix, but an ever-more popular race nonetheless.

Though it’s only rated as 1.Pro on the UCI points system, the race has emerged as a fan and race favorite.

A plump little pig is the race mascot each year, and often appears on the winner’s podium as a prize to best rider from Breton.

The pig and regional gravel roads have become the international symbols of the race, and often end up on the annual poster.

Mellouët, a graphic designer in his full-time job, has designed the posters during the past 15 years.

Rather than feature the defending champion, Mellouët decided to depict Pichon in this year’s poster, the rider he considers the “moral winner” from 2022.

“He was contending for the win with a few kilometers to go when he got a flat tire at the end of the ‘ribin du château’. He finished for the third time as the best Breton rider, and I think he is the most consistent rider in history, with 11 finishes from 11 participations,” Mellouët said. “So he deserved this recognition.”

In addition to the piglet awarded to the best classified Breton, the best regional rider also dons a traditional local hat which also features on the poster.

“You can recognize it by the Celtic frieze that decorates it all around,” he said.