Poised. Polite. Photogenic.
They can kiss the men on the cheek, but talk to them? That’s forbidden.
Every year a pair of Tour de France ‘podium girls’ stand either side of the prizewinners after each stage of one of the most prestigious annual sporting events in the world. The routine is familiar: the girls give flowers and fluffy toys to the victor and clap in unison before sealing it with a kiss on either side of the cyclist’s cheek.
The women always look identical - from their outfits to their hair to the colour of their nails. They wear stilettos with dresses that unfailingly sit above their knee and match the colour of the jersey worn by the rider.
They’re slim and they’re young and yes, they’re beautiful.
But this year, they’re no more.