Tour de France organiser brings ‘podium girls’ tradition to an end

Race director Christian Prudhomme has explained the new podium ceremonies

Julian Alaphilippe on the podium at the 2019 Tour de France (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The organiser of the Tour de France has finally opted to stop having "podium girls" on stage for 2020. 

Traditionally the Tour de France podium ceremonies after each stage have featured two hostesses, or podium girls, who would hand over prizes and kiss winning riders on the cheek.

But the procedure has been condemned as sexist with petitions being launched to to scrap the concept of podium girls. 

ASO, organiser of the Tour de France and other prestigious races like Liège-Bastogne-Liège, has resisted the calls to get rid of hostesses on stage, but has now decided to change the process from 2020. 

Race director Christian Prudhomme told French broadcaster Europe 1 : “We've been used to having riders on the podium assisted by two hostesses. 

“Now, things are going to be different, using only one local representative and one jersey partner, as well as one hostess and one host for the first time." 

The Tour de France will be following in the footsteps of Formula 1, which stopped having “grid girls” at races from the 2018 season as it said the practice was not “in tune with our vision for this great sport.”

ASO’s decision has been met by support from many cycling fans and riders.

Australian track rider Maeve Plouffe siad: “Podium girls were so outdated.

“I like the comments suggesting they should consider having kids handing out the medals. Would be really inspiring.” 

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Mountain bike racer Kate Courtney said: “This is a great first step, but I can’t wait for the day that women have the chance to earn their spot on the podium in the Tour too.”

In 2017 the Tour Down Under also stopped featuring podium girls in its ceremonies, a move that was welcomed by Spanish Grand Tour star Mikel Landa.

Landa, who was riding for Team Sky at the time, said: "Podium girls presenting the prizes is an old tradition, it’s like treating the women them as objects, and undervaluing them.”

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