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eBay Finds: Crédit Lyonnais Tour de France yellow jersey cuddly lion

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(Image credit: swansong213 / eBay)
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UAE Team Emirates' Alexander Kristoff seems almost as happy with his lion as he is to have won the opening stage and taken the race's first yellow jersey at the 2020 Tour de France

UAE Team Emirates' Alexander Kristoff seems almost as happy with his lion as he is to have won the opening stage and taken the race's first yellow jersey at the 2020 Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Crédit Lyonnais lions – courtesy of Julian Alaphilippe – litter the windscreen of the Deceuninck-QuickStep bus at the 2019 Tour de France

Crédit Lyonnais lions – courtesy of Julian Alaphilippe – litter the windscreen of the Deceuninck-QuickStep bus at the 2019 Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) squeezes his lion tight on the podium following the penultimate stage of the 2019 Tour de France

Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) squeezes his lion tight on the podium following the penultimate stage of the 2019 Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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1987 Tour de France winner Stephen Roche – alongside Tour de France Féminin champion Jeannie Longo – clutches his cuddly lion, which were introduced to the race that year

1987 Tour de France winner Stephen Roche – alongside Tour de France Féminin champion Jeannie Longo – clutches his cuddly lion, which were introduced to the race that year (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

It's become the symbol of receiving a yellow jersey on the podium at the Tour de France, and is almost as famous and talked about as the maillot jaune: it's jersey-sponsor Crédit Lyonnais' cuddly lion, and we've found some for sale on eBay.

The one for sale here – at an eye-watering US$224.99 (£175) – seems to have made its way all the way to California, although the seller also has a slightly cheaper one available – but without a jersey on. They're apparently both 13 inches (33cm) tall, and so the seller admits they aren't the same as the bigger ones given to the riders on the podium, but still, it doesn't get much better for the cycling fan who has everything.

French eBay – eBay.fr – in particular looks as though it's the place to go for more lions, and they tend to be a little cheaper there, too.

1987 Tour de France winner Stephen Roche – alongside Tour de France Féminin champion Jeannie Longo – clutches his cuddly lion, which were introduced to the race that year

1987 Tour de France winner Stephen Roche – alongside Tour de France Féminin champion Jeannie Longo – clutches his cuddly lion, which were introduced to the race that year (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

According to an article about the lions on Outside.com in 2014, French sports newspaper L'Equipe says that the cuddly toys were introduced to the podium of the race in 1987, which was the year that Ireland's Stephen Roche won the Tour.

At some point around 2010, Crédit Lyonnais apparently considered not using the lions anymore, but they eventually saw sense, and the cuddly toys – in French, the 'Lyon' of Lyonnais is pronounced the same as the French word for lion, which is lion – appear to be here to stay.

We have yet to find a 'full-sized' lion for sale – like those given out on the podium – but then, really, who's ever going to sell one of those?

We're constantly on the lookout for unique and rare cycling relics on eBay. If you have any suggestions or leads, please send them to cyclingnews@cyclingnews.com with 'eBay Finds' in the subject line.