by EM RUSCIANO
My other half is a level 6 (there are only 7 levels), hardcore, lycra wearing, leg shaving bike nerd.
In fact as I write these very words I can see him lovingly cleaning his road bike with… WAIT they are our wedding towels! Remind me to lose my shit at him later about why we do not use Sheridan-themed cleaning rags.
The Tour De France, taking place right now, is his Olympics. I basically haven’t seen him since it started. He watches the highlights during the day and sometimes the girls and I sit with him, just so they remember what their father looks like and to pretend we care.
We happened to be watching as one of the stages ended and saw the winning rider being presented with the Yellow jersey. Then the podium girls, also in matching yellow, stood next to him and each gave him a kiss.
He seemed very pleased with himself and although they were all smiling and waving, I have always felt that situation was a little bit creepy. That at the end of the ride, the conquering hero gets his jersey – and 2 beautiful women – as a reward.
And it would appear I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t happy.My 12 year old said: “Ewww that’s gross, why do they have to kiss him? Why are they even there? Is that the only thing girls do in this race? Kiss the winning rider?”
I responded with: “It’s tradition babe, they have been doing it for a long time. It is seen as an honour to be selected as a podium girl.”
But now I have had time to ponder on it, and it’s occurred to me that my nearly 13-year-old has an excellent point. What the hell are they doing there?!
I did some research on the podium girls, and they are in fact called “tour hostesses”. Their primary role is to “assist the jersey winner to the podium”. Assist the guys who have just completed a bazillion kilometre hill climb (that may not be the exact distance), and who are considered the toughest athletes in the world, and who train 9 days a week. Yeah, those dudes definitely need assistance to make the 30cm ascent to the top of the podium.