Tro-Bro Leon is a French one-day race started as an amateur cyclosportive in 1984 that has grown into one of the toughest pro races in Western France, but amateurs can still ride the demanding, brutal and groady (gravel ‘n road) cyclosportive version on 6 May 2023, the day before professionals.

Taking on some of the most brutal agricultural cart tracks in Bretagne in the north-westernmost corner of France, where daily downpours are common, this race is often called The Hell of The West or  Le Petit Paris-Roubaix.

Why?

Gravel, lots of gravel and mud and cobbles and sharp stones covering 16 sectors on a 131 kilometers long course (pros ride 26 sectors and 208 kilometers). Locals call the sectors ribinou, two narrow gravel paths covered in tire destroying sharp stones separated by a slippery grass ridge riders dare not cross.

Add a little rain and it becomes perfect for epic hardman and hardwoman riding.

While the Tro-Bro pro race champion gets their name etched in history for eternity and the top local rider wins a piglet and cool custom Breton hat, the fastest amateur will only claim personal glory for winning one of the hardest races in France.

Nonetheless, Tro-Bro Leon Cyclosportive Challenge is a bucket list ride that deserves to be on every amateur’s calendar, just like its older, more well-known twin, Paris-Roubaix Cyclosportive, to the north-east.

Tro-Bro Leon Cyclosportive information and registration HERE.

Photos: Tro-Bro Leon