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Podium girls look set to be scrapped from the Tour de France

Joe Robinson
2 Mar 2018

Tour set to follow in the footsteps of Tour of Flanders and Tour Down Under in scrapping tradition

The Tour de France could be the latest major cycling race to end the tradition of podium girls, following the lead of the Vuelta a Espana.  Reported in The Times, Tour de France organisers have been planning to drop the use of podium girls for the race which starts on 7th July in Noirmoutier-en-l’Île.

If true, the Tour will follow suit with its fellow Grand Tour the Vuelta a Espana in ending the practice of having podium girls greet the stage winners. In 2017, the Vuelta replaced the podium girls a selection of men and women to assist with podium duties. 

The Tour Down Under also replaced podium girls with young children and local cyclists earlier this year with the Flanders Classics announcing that the podium hostesses would no longer be used at the Tour of Flanders.

When contacted for an official statement by Cyclist, A.S.O stated that they have no official statement or comment to make at this time despite the article released by The Times.

As for for the Giro d'Italia, they seem to be standing firm on the use of podium girls with Giro race director Mauro Vegni commenting that he saw this call for their removal as a 'temporary trend'.

Speaking to SBSVegni commented, 'As long as those girls are treated with respect and carry on their job in a professional manner, there is no reason for changing the hospitality process.'

The use of podium girls has received a wind of change in professional sport in the past 12 months. In January, the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) announced it would no longer have walk-on girls while Formula 1 also confirmed they would be scrapping the use of grid girls.

The use of podium girls has been a contentious issue within the sport of cycling with arguments falling down on both sides of the issue and previous incidents stoking the argument.

At the 2013 Tour of Flanders, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hasngrohe) groped podium girl Maja Leye on live television. While this sparked outrage, Sagan's apology was enough to see the issue not progress any further.

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