Not much going on in the cycling world: the month of December is like a prolonged Rest Day, without all the media frenzy. I am thinking that this month is a good time to walk down the Velogal Tour Talk memory lane. I just searched through most all of my photos to compile a photography gift book for some of my friends - it made me think of some of the stages and happenings that I wrote about during the past few years at the Tour. I first started writing a daily Velogal Talks Tour report for Active.com during the 2002 Tour de France. And I wrote Zee Leetle Podium Girl Gone Bad Tour Reports for cyclingnews.com that year. This is from the 2002 Tour, at the start in Luxembourg (with obviously a Night Before Christmas influenced leetle poem):
2002 Tour Journal of a Podium Girl Gone Bad
Well, girls and boys, here I am again heading for Le Tour. Time has flown by this year, much like the hopes of non-negative potential Yellow Jersey winners. My, my, how the big names do fly… high.
What I have to tell is this little Tour story. While zipping along into Luxembourg in my little rental Skoda, I rounded a corner and saw the most astonishing billboard – an eye-catching advertisement that should become an ode to the legend of Le Tour. Thus, my dearies, was PGGB inspired to write:
Driving into the elegant Duchy of Lux,
Thinking that here, Jean Marie might be wearing a tux.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a huge billboard full of female derriere.
Le Grand Depart were the words at the top,
But the cyclists pictured made my eyes pop!
No Telekom, no Postal and no iBanesto,
Sex sells Le Tour seemed the bold manifesto.
No lycra, no spandex, and not even one of the boys,
Nay, Luxembourg beckoned
With girls and their toys.
Now you may say it’s right,
Or you may say it’s wrong,
But those gals on their bikes
Wore only a thong…
It outraged many folks,
Who sprang to their arms.
How could Le Tour take advantage
Of those feminine charms?
Has Le Tour lost their collective minds?
Advertising Le Grande Boucle
With female behinds?
Then the truth was revealed to all of these folk,
The advertisement ‘twas but a sly, clever joke.
It looked quite authentic, and made some folks swear,
But 'twas only an ad for female underwear!
Yes, dear cycling fans, it was an audacious advertising campaign by a company that sells feminine lingerie. And, no, those three scantily clad women pedaling merrily along on their bikes were selling thongs, not Le Tour.
I stopped my car and spoke with an elderly woman who was staring, expressionless, at the spread of larger-than-life female anatomy. “Madam, if you please, what do you think about this poster?” I asked. “Well, well,” she replied, with a slight twinkle in her eye, “How very cheeky of them.”
The Sloggi advertisement was all over Luxembourg on billboards at bus tops, railway stations, and huge billboards along the roads. However, this image was not allowed in my Podium Girl Gone Bad book, because I did not have permissions from the company. You can follow the Link to buy zee wicked leetle book....
Happy Holidays to Everyone!