All professional cyclists want to bring home the bacon.
Chris Bartlett (Metaltek-Scott) was given an unexpected opportunity to do so after winning a pre-Christmas race in southern Spain, entered with no greater ambition than to keep his legs turning in the off-season.
Bartlett’s victory in the ‘I Carrera Ciclista del Cochinillo’ race in Huercal Overa was rewarded with an unusual prize: a live pig.
“I had no idea what the prize would be,” he said.
“After I’d won and the official handed me the pig, I said, ‘What am I supposed to do with it?’. He said ‘Eat it!’”
Fortunately for the porker concerned, Bartlett had no intention of eating his prize, since named, ‘Lucky Rapha’.
Furthering the reputation of the British as a nation of animal lovers, he handed Lucky to fellow Brit, Ollie Watts, who has offered her a position as mascot at his Kinetic PB training camp.
“Lucky is already a big hit with the athletes who are staying at the camp who touch her for luck every morning,” said Watts.
“She loves running around the place and is particularly interested in the bikes.”
“She has to be the luckiest piglet alive and we are delighted to have helped save her from the chop.”