7 months ago by Oskar Scarsbrook

Gallery: Tro-Bro Leon

Ethan Glading chases Human Powered Health around pro cycling’s vibiest gravel race

Tro-Bro Leon is a truly unique race. Run over 27 sections of gravel (or ribinoú to the locals), its nickname is the little Paris-Roubaix and it certainly comes from the same school of rad as the ‘Hell of the North’.

But this is the ‘Hell of the West’ as it takes place in the windswept department of Brittany – which incidentally is home to our French national champion Audrey Cordon-Ragot – with the first local rider to finish winning one of the craziest prizes in the sport, a piglet. 

The Human Powered Health men’s team lined up in Plouguerneau ready to leave it all out on the line in this, the conclusion of the spring classic racing block. 

Ahead of the race, Chad Haga and Ben Perry both prepared well for the gravel roads of Brittany by competing in The Traka 200km off-road race, with Haga finishing eleventh and Perry a superb third

“The Traka made me comfortable sliding through corners and powering over the rough stuff,” Haga said. “It also reminded me that in a chaotic race like Tro-Bro, you just have to keep fighting because you never know what's going to happen.”

With the American’s words of advice as a backdrop, the seven intrepid riders, including newly crowned Pan American champion Pier-André Coté, clipped in and took on ‘Le Petit Paris-Roubaix’.

Photographer Ethan Glading was on the ground in Brittany to capture the epic race in all its muddy majesty. 

With the classics behind them, the Human Powered Health Cycling’s men’s team has now entered stage race season. The squad will take on the multi-day Tour de Hongrie, 4 Jours de Dunkerque, Boucles de la Mayenne - Crédit Mutuel and the Tour of Norway all in May.