She puts those skinny Euro podium girls to shame...if you like curves that is!
Podium girls.... I wrote this im my blog after attending a race where both men and women rode:
As much as I loved seeing the bike race and everything that went along with it, there's one weird thing that seems like a holdover from some previous era. I know it's tradition, but I find it a bit embarrassing. It just doesn't seem to have anything to do with racing, and feels like pandering.
Why are there "Podium Girls?" I don't doubt these young women are fine people and all, but the major make-up, heavily-style hair and frighteningly-tall stiletto heels look out of place at an athletic event. And even more so at an event where there are women competitors killing themselves to squeeze every ounce of power and skill as they make superhuman efforts. One group is there because of what they can do, the other for how they look. I don't want to criticize the "girls" themselves, who seem to be good sports — they even posed for a photo with me, and countless other geezers — and who seem genuinely friendly, and are there of their own accord. I know it's supposed to be all in good fun, but still, I do wish bicycling, as a sport, could move past this uncomfortable anachronism.
WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
Website at curtis.corlew.com —— Bicycle blog at ccorlew.blogspot.com
If I raced (and won) I'd like podium boys. They should be dressed in tuxes and look like 007 in them. Fancy gadgets are optional.
Then the Tour of California came, and we got. . . anachronistic podium girls. I figure that we're trying to make the Tour of California as much like a European stage race as we can, if we didn't have podium girls, we'd probably be accused of trying to "Americanize" our stage race -- "It isn't a 'real' stage race without podium girls." Since we are in the U.S., it seems more out of place to me than it does in a European stage race, but still, if we're trying to copy the Europeans, I understand it. Perhaps even in Europe it is silly and anachronistic, but since I'm not nearly as familiar with European culture as I am with American culture, I can't really say. On TV, it doesn't seem uncomfortable to me, mostly silly. Only when I watched it up close and in person after the stage finish in Livermore last year did it feel uncomfortable.
I'm not sure the fact that they are there of their own accord and seem genuinely friendly makes any difference to me -- they are there of their own accord because they are paid to be there and they get some exposure, and they are paid in part to come off as genuinely friendly -- whether they are genuinely friendly or just good actresses, who knows.
I understand it is a tradition, but tradition is about handing over, not about hanging on. An interesting question is whether I think podium girls should go because I'm a cranky old man, whether I think podium girls should go because I'm young at heart and want the world to change, or whether I think podium girls because I don't want some stupid European tradition infecting the U.S. I don't know the answer to that one.
The podium girls do serve a function, directing people where to go etc. I think it's just the over-sexed thing and the kissing thing that bugs people... reminds me too much of Nascar.
So I propose one man and one woman, dressed nicely but appropriately with sponsor clothing, stay out of the photos and no kissing. More like MC's than eye candy.
There's definitely a place for sexy spokeswomen though... like the Specialized angel from a few years ago... she was great.
Curtis... how did you derail this thread into such a slippery slope. Podium Girls... Wow!
As a European I need to pitch in.
I guess, yes, it has cultural connections. I cannot talk about other countries but in France, where most popular activities came from rural areas, local events often showcased the local dignitaries including the local beauty queen presenting trophies to farming contests, cooking contests, or to any type of winners in the equivalent of the county fairs in the US. These events are the highlights of the year in their respective villages, there's a lot of food, beer, wine, music, dancing, and ...
Cycling is part of this culture. As you know cycling is very popular there. Popular in a socially casted country as France has a different meaning than in the US. It doesn't mean it's hugely financially successful, it means it is appreciated by the 'common' people as opposed to high class sports such as tennis or skiing. So bike racing is often part of the local fairs, the criteriums are all over the country during the summer, each village trying to attract the riders who did the best during the Tour. And the winners get a kiss from the local beauties as do the best cheese or wine winners.
Is this shocking? The girls are fully dressed, they stay classy, never sexually provocative. How do you compare that to the american pom-pom girls? For most europeans French cancan, naked bellies, and popping 'boobs' belong to the sleezy taverns not public family events.
I remember a remark I made on this forum about the original TOC podium girls. Politically correct California had decided to use local female dignitaries or sponsors. My remark was that a young stud who had spent the day kicking his butt deserved more than his Mom's or Grandma's kiss. Think about George Hincapie. One of the Tour de France girl became his wife.
I don't mind the podium girls as long as the way they present themselves is respectful to all woman. I think the ToC did something very smart this year, intentional or not, by adding a fun, mockery twist to the tradition. The lipstick marks left on the riders were cool, it was like the podium girls were having fun.
I believe the podium girls bring another intrinsic element to The Tour De France and have therefore become an important tradition.
The French fashion industry is such a major economic and cultural force there.
A daily showcase of the latest and best dresses for 3 weeks is wonderful for them.
Wonderful for an industry is wonderful for cycling. No industry, no sponsors, no cycling.
Gpelpel made so many great points. I feel classier just adding one more to his fine argument.
Last edited by Lanceoldstrong; 05-21-13 at 11:25 PM.
In Ascensu Est Verum
gpelpel your pics are cool.Thanks for sharing.I like the Morgan Terr. pics since I didn't make it out that way.
ride, enjoy, repeat
The Amgen does a mountain-top finish on Diablo, and I had to miss it due to an unavoidable commitment. Life ain't fair, I tell ya!
Some fantastic photos here. I knew Curtis was pretty darn good at it, but I did not know about Georges' mad skillz.
I agree that having podium girls is anachronistic and sexist. But we are missing the obvious solution: a mix of Podium Girlz and Podium Boyz, all with major make-up, heavily styled hair, and frighteningly tall stiletto heels (to paraphrase a learned sage). "Enhancements" accepted - north of the equator for the Girlz, a bit further south for the Boyz.
"I'm in shape -- round is a shape." Andy Rooney
Lawson Craddock: 18m40s Junction to Summit. Unreal!
Specialized Roubaix SL3 -- Giant Anthem X4 29er FS -- Leopard CX1