Is this the best bike race you've never heard of?

Cobbles, gravel, wind and a piglet: why we love Brittany's very own classic, the Tro Bro Léon - which takes place this Sunday, April 17

Tro Bro Léon

Here is a professional bike race that feels a little bit like it doesn’t belong in this world. The 200km route zooms up hills, along windswept coasts, through the grounds of deserted castles and into dark passages that tunnel under motorways like rabbit burrows.

It takes place the weekend after Paris-Roubaix and is run over off-road sectors through farmland in the far west of France. There are farm animals aplenty – although these are reserved for the podium – and the publicity poster features a cartoon of the previous year’s winner, drawn by the organiser.

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Richard Abraham is an award-winning writer, based in New Zealand. He has reported from major sporting events including the Tour de France and Olympic Games, and is also a part-time travel guide who has delivered luxury cycle tours and events across Europe. In 2019 he was awarded Writer of the Year at the PPA Awards.