A few years ago Peter Sagan got into the new for pinching the bottom of a podium girl. Yes, it was an outrageous act and one that he rightly apologised for. However, the worst part of it is that we as a cycling culture still don't seem to have grasped the main issue - that he felt that he could do it and make a joke of it.
image courtesy of Huffington Post
Podium girls are a hark back to a century when woman fought for the vote, fought for equal rights in the workplace, fought for equal pay etc etc. It's quite ironic that we still live in a society where the woman is expected to take the name of her husband when she marries. So what then does this have to do with cycling you may well ask. It's easy really - we still have podium girls, and the ladies don't have a world tour to match the men; and yet for the life of me I can't understand why.
image courtesy of cyclingtips.com
I suppose I take a different perspective to a lot of people. I have 3 sisters, I had 2 maternal aunts, 2 great aunts, and lots of female cousins, with a small splattering of men within the family, including my brother. But my sisters looked after me as a young and quiet boy, and I went on to marry a woman who had...yes, 2 sisters! In effect, I don't necessarily see a 'hot chick' in lycra, I simply see a cyclist who's no different from my sisters, aunts, sisters-in-law, cousins. I know, I'd better stop now, due to the impression given in some places around the world!
Headlines from Daily Mail 2016
Seriously though, we seem to have a sport where woman still haven't quite made it onto the same page. Where Shane Sutton is allowed for many years to carry on as ... Shane Sutton, and where Peter Sagan can pinch a podium girls butt and think it's funny. Sorry Peter, we love you here at Pedalnorth, but that was just wrong.
If a guy wears lycra and wears it well, his mates think that he's a dude. On a mountain bike, he can wear a cool tee shirt and some colourful baggies and he's a real dude now. However, if women try to be stylish in lycra, then there's usually a chorus of:
Phooar, have you seen that; or
Look at her trying to be sexy; or