July 12, 2007

Pez interviews the podium girls

Stage 1 Yellow Jersey
Stage 1 Yellow Jersey,
originally uploaded by Brian@HurstGreen.

PezCycling News | Tour de PEZ: Meet The Podium Girls!

PezCycling News got to spend some time with some of the Tour's very visible hostesses, the women who award each jersey, appear at rider sign-in each morning, offer a ceremonial kiss to the jersey winner, and often do caravan duty and meet-and-greets in the finishing city.

The two subjects Pez spent the most time with award the “most combative rider” award for each day, which today was Sylvain Chavanel.

This USA Today story from 2004 explains the hierarchy of the podium women, from the elegant runway-model yellow jersey presenters, to the wilder PMU presenters, who also dance on caravan vehicles.

Kind of makes me nostalgic for the Podium Girl Gone Bad diary (which was collected and augmented for a book available here).

Posted by Frank Steele on July 12, 2007 in Podium Girls | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 04, 2006

Hincapie takes US title

Your podium
Your podium,
originally uploaded by Frank Steele.
Discovery Channel's George Hincapie took the biggest win of his season yesterday, winning the US road race championship.

WIth a new course that covered roads near his house on Paris Mountain, and a new format that excluded amateurs and non-U.S. riders, Hincapie had only Jason McCartney as official team support, but Dave Zabriskie and Levi Leipheimer (about to join Discovery Channel) acted as de facto teammates.

McCartney and Zabriskie pushed the pace hard on the day's first trip up Paris Mountain, and -- boom! -- 40 riders were dropped. Next trip up the mountain, another 30 were shed. On the day, only 31 riders would complete the race.

The Hincapies
Happy family,
originally uploaded by Frank Steele.
TIAA-CREF was the biggest team in the field, and placed 6 riders in the final 17 who led the pack in the 4th lap. Over the top of the mountain, only 9 riders survived, including TIAA-CREF's Danny Pate and Blake Caldwell, Navigators' Phil Zajicek and Burke Swindlehurst, Jelly Belly's Andy Bajadali, defending champ Chris Wherry of Toyota-United, KodakGallery's Ben Jacques-Maynes, Leipheimer, and Hincapie. The gap to the rest of the field was so large that only these 9 were allowed to enter the final circuit, with another 22 given prorated times.

Lead trio enters town
Leaders coming into town,
originally uploaded by Frank Steele.
On the day's final trip up Paris Mountain, everyone knew Leipheimer, who last week set a new record for the climb at 8:54, and Hincapie would go for broke, and Hincapie got a 15-second gap at the summit. On the way into the city, Bajadali and Leipheimer recaptured Hincapie, and the trio worked together briefly, before Hincapie launched on the finishing circuits, and Leipheimer could see that Bajadali was through.

He bridged up to Hincapie and did most of the work on the last lap, before Hincapie attacked in the last kilometer, taking a 10-second lead that would hold up to the finish.

I've got a Flickr photoset up with about 60 pictures from the day, including Hincapie kissing podium girl Melanie Hincapie, the Hincapie family celebrating at the start/finish, the Hincapies with their daughter, action shots of Zabriskie, Leipheimer , and Hincapie.

There's also a USA Cycling Pro Championships pool.


CyclingNews | USA Cycling Pro championships | results | photo gallery

VeloNews | Hincapie wins U.S. pro road crown

Posted by Frank Steele on September 4, 2006 in Dave Zabriskie, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Podium Girls, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 20, 2004

Meet the podium women

USATODAY.com | Women of the Tour deliver kisses, jerseys

USA Today quickie on the "pecking order in the world of professional kissers."

First, Credit Lyonnaise, the yellow jersey women, who also take on a variety of other promotional duties before working up to the podium.

Next, Champion's polka-dot podium women, who do some other meet-and-greets, as well.

Third, PMU's "racier" green jersey podium women, who also do "wild dance routines ... in the publicity caravan."

Finally, Aquarel's white jersey podium women, who also help pass out the company's bottled water.

None should be confused with Podium Girl Gone Bad.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 20, 2004 in About the Tour, Podium Girls | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 16, 2004

PezzoCycling News

PezCycling News | Distractions du Tour

I never miss PezCycling's "Daily Distractions" feature, showing beautiful women seen at cycling events. Usually, they're podium girls, local beauty queens, or spectators, but today, they've got one I couldn't resist linking to. At left, the truly awesome Paola Pezzo.

Pezzo is the only woman ever to win a gold medal in mountain biking, taking 1st at the Atlanta and Sydney Olympic Games. I watched her dominate the competition in Atlanta, riding so fast that none of our photos of her came out, unlike the entire rest of the field.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 16, 2004 in Links, Podium Girls | Permalink | Comments (2)

July 13, 2004

Don't tell Jane: Hincapie snags a podium girl

sfgate.com | Armstrong teammate finds love at Tour de France

George Hincapie is engaged to a Credit Lyonnais girl he met at last year's Tour:

"I was mesmerized by her," he said. "I needed to talk to her or find her phone number.

"When I first saw her I thought, 'Wow, she's beautiful!' and I wanted to ask her out on a date to have this beautiful girl with me. But that was it, I didn't think it would go anywhere."

Hincapie sent Melanie Simonneau a note by way of CL officials. The two are expecting their first child in November.

"We found out three days ago that it is a girl," the soft-spoken Hincapie said.

Thanks, John!

Posted by Frank Steele on July 13, 2004 in About the Tour, George Hincapie, Podium Girls | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack