Some professionals will say they’re in it for the glory; others will say it’s just about earning a crust and putting food on the table.
But what every bike rider really dreams of is picking up an unusual prize for winning a race, like a wheel of cheese say, or a donkey or even a huge sword.
If you think we’ve missed any good’uns, let us know in the comment section below.
1. The Superprestige Cross shower
A shower; exactly what you’ll need after taking part in a muddy cyclo-cross race. And that’s exactly what you’ll get if you win the Superprestige Cross race…but you’ll presumably need to assemble it first.
2. The Tirreno-Adriatico trident
At Italy’s Tirreno-Adriatico, the winner is awarded this eccentric gold trident, as modelled by Nairo Quintana, the 2015 champion.
3. The Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne donkey
Nothing says ‘I love you’/’Happy Birthday’/thanks [delete as appropriate] to your loved one/young child/mechanic [delete as appropriate] like Ambrose the cuddly donkey, the prize awarded to winner of Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.
4. Local cheeses of the Tour of Britain
5. Basque hats
6. The Tour of Qatar model boat
7. Big Austrian sausage
If a selection of British cheeses doesn’t suit you, then why not head to the Tour of Austria and grab yourself a big sausage supplied by Wiesbauer. 2014 winner Pete Kennaugh looks delighted.
8. The Toledo sword
“Good luck getting this through customs!” quips the mayor of Toledo every time the Vuelta comes to town.
9. 500 kilograms of salmon
It wasn’t a podium prize, but a perk of winning the final KOM points on stage one of the 2016 Tour des Fjords was 500kg of prime Norwegian salmon.
Norway is, of course, the world’s leading producer of Atlantic salmon and the second largest seafood exporter in the world, so it’s likely they had a few fish to spare.
Lucky Roger Kluge of IAM Cycling is the man who had to find room in his suitcase to get the fish home…I wonder if they paid for the excess baggage charges?