Role of Podium Girls (Tour hostesses): Sport's Traditions

Role of Podium Girls (Tour hostesses): Sport's Traditions

HDPhotos-4U  ⋅  07 Jul 2015 05:14:14

Podium girls, formally known as "Tour hostesses" (French: hôtesses du Tour), are women who are best known for presenting prizes and kisses to the winners of the Tour de France and other major cycle races, including the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España. In the Tour de France, a team of four podium girls is employed by the race's main sponsor, the French bank LCL S.A.. They are responsible for entertaining clients of the sponsors before the morning departure of the race and in parties after the end of the race, but their most visible and prestigious role is in the award ceremony at the close of each day's racing. The job requires working long hours in all weather conditions but is well-paid and sought-after, with candidates selected on the basis of their looks, endurance, personalities and linguistic abilities. Although they are forbidden to interact with the riders, other than kissing them in the award ceremonies, several podium girls have ended up marrying cyclists. The employment of podium girls has prompted a certain amount of criticism about sexism in professional cycling, though current and former podium girls have defended their role as part of the sport's traditions.RoleThe girls work as ambassadors for the race's sponsors, serving drinks and snacks to clients and VIPs in the morning, presenting prizes in the afternoon and hosting parties in the evening. According to one Tour de France podium girl, Anne-Marie, "we start every day between 6 am and 7 am. We're present in the 'departure village' at the LCL stand to attend the departure of the caravan and the race." During the awards ceremony at the end of each stage, two of the girls, working in pairs on alternate days, present the winning riders with their jerseys and prizes and give them a kiss on the cheek. In the evening, says Anne-Marie, "we often host parties for LCL with gifts to win."The most prestigious part of a podium girl's Tour is the final presentation ceremony in Pa

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