After the furore caused by the 2015 poster, and the fact that the race falls on Good Friday this year, the organisers of E3 Harelbeke have toned down their preview poster for the 2016 event.
Instead of a hand reaching in to pinch a girl’s backside – as was last year’s effort – the new poster features a priest giving a sermon with the phrase ‘Cycling is holy; winning is sacred’.
Last year’s poster tried to make fun of Peter Sagan’s controversial antics on the podium in the 2013 race, where he squeezed the bottom of a girl who was handing out flowers to the winner, Fabian Cancellara.
Unsurprisingly the joke didn’t go down too well, even in light of E3’s history of risqué advertisements. Cycling’s governing body, the UCI, even got involved to say it was ‘extremely unhappy’ with the poster.
Away from the politics, Geraint Thomas picked up the biggest win of his career at the race last year, winning ahead of Etixx-Quick Step duo Zdenek Stybar and Matteo Trentin.