Semi-Classic plays it safe with poster for the 60th edition of the race

E3 Harelbeke has made something of a name for itself over the last few years, with a series of sexist posters culminating in the 2015 effort of a hand reaching to touch a women’s backside, which prompted a flurry of controversy.

However, the semi-Classic seems to have turned a corner in the last two editions, producing a poster with a religious motif in 2016, and using an image of a young boy with the word’s “Mommy’s Rebel” tattooed across his back for 2017.

The race has tried to make something of an event of the unveiling of this year’s poster, tweeting images of previous years’s posters over the last couple of weeks, although deciding to omit the more controversial posters from 2009, 2011, 2014, and 2015 from the countdown.

Named after the former E3 motorway in Belgium, the 2017 edition of the race will take place on Friday, March 24, nine days before the Tour of Flanders, and covering many of the same cobbled climbs.

This year will see the 60th running of the race, which has become vital last minute preparation for anyone looking to make a splash in the Classics. Michal Kwiatkowski is the race’s defending champion, with Team Sky team-mate Geraint Thomas having won in 2015.