We've seen riders presented with enormous models of wooden boats at the Tour of Qatar, and of course there's the traditional Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne cuddley donkey.

Stage winners in the Tour de France are also often awarded their weight in local produce (usually cider) by the town mayor when the race comes by.

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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.