Miss becomes mister: Tour de France drops all-girl podium

August 20, 2020

One of the Tour de France's most famous customs will end this year when the post-race podium ritual of the winner being flanked by two young, attractive women comes to an end.

Instead, organisers said Wednesday that there will be just one hostess on one side of the celebrating cyclist with a male host on the other when the 2020 Tour starts in Nice on August 29.

"You used to see the champion surrounded by two hostesses, with five elected officials on one side and five representatives of the sponsors on the other," said race director, Christian Prudhomme.

"Now, it will be different with only one elected official and one representative of the sponsors of the yellow jersey, as well as a hostess and a host for the first time."

"Yes, it's new but we have already been doing it in other races for 20 years like in Liege-Bastogne-Liege."

The presence of attractive young women on sports podiums has been a bone of contention in recent years with many condemning it as sexist.

In 2018, Formula One put an end to 'grid girls' who had been ever-presents at the start of grands prix in the world championship.

Last year, a petition containing nearly 38,000 signatures objected to the use of podium girls on the Tour de France with activists protesting "women are not objects nor rewards".

Despite the change at the Tour, Prudhomme did not say whether or not the tradition of each hostess giving the cyclists a kiss would continue.