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For the first time, the Tour de France changes its protocol and promises a man and a woman to put the jerseys back on the finish podiums, putting an end to the traditional “miss”, a practice considered sexist, announced its director Christian Prudhomme, during of a press conference, Wednesday, in Nice.

A hostess and a host at Tour de France. The famous cycling competition will modify its protocol for the first time, in order to put an end to a practice considered sexist. Instead of the traditional “miss”, a man and a woman will put back the jerseys on the podiums of arrival, announced the director of the Tour de France, Christian Prudhomme, Wednesday August 19, at the turn of a sentence during a press conference on health instructions for the start of the Grande Boucle in Nice, August 29.

“You used to see the champion surrounded by two hostesses, with five elected on one side and five representatives of the partners on the other. There, it will be different with only one elected and one representative of the partner of the yellow jersey , as well as a hostess and a host for the first time, ”he said at a press conference.

“Yes, it’s new but we have already been doing it in other races for 20 years as in Liège-Bastogne-Liège”, organized like the Tour de France by Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), added Christian Prudhomme.

Women “are not objects, no rewards”

In 2018, another world class race organized by ASO, the Flèche Wallonne, had opted for a mixed podium, a man to reward the winner and a woman for the winner.

Christian Prudhomme did not specify whether he was putting an end to the tradition of “kissing” the winner, but the health context seems to have got the better of this other decried practice anyway.

For several years, voices have been raised regularly to demand the end of podium hostesses. A petition in 2019 even collected nearly 38,000 signatures, believing that women “are not objects, not rewards”.

Formula 1 had put an end in 2018 to the “grid girls”, these young women, chosen for their plastic, who indicate the location of the single-seaters.

>> To read also: Yes to cycling, no to the Grande Boucle! Why elected officials are wary of the Tour de France

“Common sense” of “wearing a mask”

Christian Prudhomme also called on roadside spectators to wear a mask during the Grande Boucle: a matter of “common sense” in the face of the increase in cases of coronavirus.

“For the spectators, on the road, there is clearly no question to ask. I love the bike, I love the Tour, common sense indicates that you have to wear the mask, even if the formal obligation to do so depends on the prefects of the 32 departments crossed “, launched Christian Prudhomme.

On the last Critérium du Dauphiné, also organized by ASO and which crossed five departments, four prefects out of five had already taken such a measure.

Because if the organizers have the possibility of controlling the wearing of the mask and the respect of the barrier gestures at departures and arrivals, the operation is more complex on the road and does not depend on them.

During the various cycling events of the summer, the riders have regularly expressed their concerns on the subject. “People do not realize that when they come to shout at 40 centimeters to encourage us, there is a risk”, estimated for example a few days ago Julien Bernard (Trek) on the Route d’Occitanie.

The dark scenario for the organizers would be that a case of Covid-19 is detected in the peloton.

With AFP

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