Peter Sagan under fire for pinching podium girl's bottom

Condemned by viewers as 'sexist' and 'harassment'

by Sarah Barth   April 1, 2013  

Sagan bum pinching

Peter Sagan has been criticised for a photograph that shows him pinching the bottom of a podium girl after he was placed second in the Tour de Flanders yesterday.

As the winner Fabian Cancellara was given the customary kiss on the cheek by a blonde hostess, Sagan turned and 'goosed' her on the backside.

Social media immediately exploded, with thousands registering their unease at Sagan's act - and he was eventually forced to apologise.

Michael Hutchinson, 2012 Irish Time Trials National Champion, tweeted: “Shame that Peter Sagan has so much class on a bike and so very little off it.”

Irish Paracycling Team member Colin Lynch wrote: “Despite the symbolism of being kissed by scantily-clad women & then spraying champagne all over the place, groping them before is [off] limits.

“The podium move by Sagan was like school on Sunday. No class.”

Cycling writer and broadcaster Ned Boulting told The Independent: “To say it’s OK for winners to celebrate in these ridiculous clinches with these poorly paid, barely dressed and no doubt freezing cold women – I think it looks bad and pretty repressive.

“It’s seen as completely normal to have podium girls but it doesn’t need to be. If they ceased to exist [in the sport] overnight, no one would miss them.”

Jane Aubrey, editor of Australian cyclingnews.com, tweeted: “Anyone excusing Sagan's behaviour due to his age, needs to think again. In the workplace, it's called harassment.”

Adam Tranter, editor of website Cyclosport, retweeted the picture and wrote: “The moment you realise Sagan is actually just a bit of an idiot.”

Sagan's apology - via Twitter - was short and sullen. “Was not my intention to disrespect women today on the podium. Just a joke, sorry if someone was disturbed about it,” he wrote.

 

70 user comments

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I wonder how po faced people can get. People of adult mien can make sexual jokes without offence. I'm not sure that any of us are qualified to say how the girl felt about it all.

As someone else posted on the other thread, some podium girls have given cyclists a pinch on the bottom. It's a bit of fun for what is otherwise a weird and uncomfortable process for all around.

I think the matter would be massively different if he groped off stage, and/or graped a tit. But it's clear it was just a cheeky, if inadvisable nip. Her non-reaction is probably the key to all of this....if she was insulted/cheapened then she should and could, and still can make her feelings known.

So people, get a reality check.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1205 posts]
1st April 2013 - 19:01

7 Likes

jimmyd wrote:
Clearly he is doing it as a joke as he's looking forward and smiling. People should just have a giggle at it and move on.

Remember you said that when someone does it to your partner or mum.

zanf's picture

posted by zanf [604 posts]
1st April 2013 - 19:08

10 Likes

Cooks wrote:
Man, guy made a joke that wasn't funny. Now everyone has gone nuts. Usain Bolt would have got away with it. So would Cipo.

Sexual assault is not a joke.

Stewie

posted by stewieatb [298 posts]
1st April 2013 - 19:14

9 Likes

jimmyd wrote:
Clearly he is doing it as a joke as he's looking forward and smiling. People should just have a giggle at it and move on.

...and those girls look properly dressed to me!

Sexual assault is not a joke.

Stewie

posted by stewieatb [298 posts]
1st April 2013 - 19:15

8 Likes

What a complete and utter bunch of hypocrites, I don't see all this outrage about having women parading on the stage and being forced to kiss men whilst giving flowers or toys, that's sexist as well, these girls shouldn't of been there full stop.

I had this argument with a mate, what do you mean forced to kiss men, well ask this question, if they refused to kiss the winner do you think they would of been up there ?

2 wrongs don't make a right, but don't put temptation in somebody's way and they won't stray.

posted by mikeprytherch [219 posts]
1st April 2013 - 19:33

8 Likes

mikeprytherch wrote:
What a complete and utter bunch of hypocrites, I don't see all this outrage about having women parading on the stage and being forced to kiss men whilst giving flowers or toys, that's sexist as well, these girls shouldn't of been there full stop.

I had this argument with a mate, what do you mean forced to kiss men, well ask this question, if they refused to kiss the winner do you think they would of been up there ?

2 wrongs don't make a right, but don't put temptation in somebody's way and they won't stray.

Yep, she was asking for it. Apparently lots of women who are sexually assaulted are. Thinking

Scott Spark 910 - Boardman Team Carbon - Planet X XLS

posted by colinth [188 posts]
1st April 2013 - 20:34

8 Likes

.

posted by doc_davo [18 posts]
1st April 2013 - 22:48

5 Likes

stewieatb wrote:
jimmyd wrote:
Clearly he is doing it as a joke as he's looking forward and smiling. People should just have a giggle at it and move on.

...and those girls look properly dressed to me!

Sexual assault is not a joke.

Stewie - I don't think anyone is suggesting sexual assault is funny, however can you explain how his action was 'sexual assault'? was there any form of sexual action or intention undertaken?

posted by doc_davo [18 posts]
1st April 2013 - 22:49

7 Likes

OldnSlo wrote:
Podium/padock girls - this firm schoolboy sexism seems to pervasive in powered and human powered two wheeled sports; T'is a bit captain caveman in this day and age. Great race however the organisers need to grow up and some riders need bromide!

Why or how can sexism or sexist actions be justified by the time frame that it or they takes place? it either is sexist/sexism or not and unfortunately in many cases this is set by the perception of the majority who follow suit and don't think for themselves with any quantitative/qualitative or rational concepts!

It seems from all these posts that the British press/public believe they are the moral compass by which the whole of the modern world should align itself!

posted by doc_davo [18 posts]
1st April 2013 - 23:06

8 Likes

zanf wrote:
jimmyd wrote:
Clearly he is doing it as a joke as he's looking forward and smiling. People should just have a giggle at it and move on.

Remember you said that when someone does it to your partner or mum.

true and Fair.. but then I wouldn't expecting my wife to be stood on a podium, handing out flowers and kissing other guys!!!

posted by doc_davo [18 posts]
1st April 2013 - 23:08

7 Likes

If that's "sexual assault" then the podium girls are serial rapists.

posted by TheBigMong [218 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 3:33

6 Likes

TheBigMong wrote:
If that's "sexual assault" then the podium girls are serial rapists.

Under English law what he did is at least assault and battery, and potentially sexual assault if it was decided that it was sexual in nature. As its more likely that he was just proving that he's a knob, then it would be assault and battery.

This slagging off of podium girls is pathetic. They'll just be with a modelling agency and this is the gig they've been offered.

Scott Spark 910 - Boardman Team Carbon - Planet X XLS

posted by colinth [188 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 7:13

10 Likes

Some Fella wrote:
Professional sports men (and women) are, on the whole, a bit stupid. Thats why they earn their living playing sports and not performing heart surgery.
Stupid people invariably do stupid things when presented with the opportunity.
Sagan rides bikes for a living. The podium girl, rightly or wrongly, stands on a stage and kisses strange sweaty men who ride bikes for a living.
Life is all about choices.

In other news - the presentations at the the Tours of Oman and Qatar didnt feel the need for such archaic practises i notice and some presentations were even done by women who had some sort of qualification beyond being skinny and well groomed.

In other news... amnesty international are still campaigning hard against the political and social discrimination shown to women and girls in Oman, meanwhile in qatar (the second most strict muslim nation) where many women are forced to wear Abaya, are not allowed to be accompanied at all times and generally repressed..there were no scantily clad

Some Fella - your argument holds very little water!!!

Oh and isn't that a slightly antiquated, naive view - all sports persons are thick or else they would be heart surgeons - Emma Pooley will have to quit her phd before someone figures out what a thicko she is, oh and I bet David Beckham wishes he had worked at becoming a heart surgeon, cause he's on the bones of his ar$e doing the job he does right now!!!

posted by doc_davo [18 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 7:18

8 Likes

colinth wrote:

This slagging off of podium girls is pathetic. They'll just be with a modelling agency and this is the gig they've been offered.

Its not a case of slagging off the girls, they are doing a job, bottom line is putting "pretty girls" on stage is sexist as well and they shouldn't be there, what Sagan did was wrong full stop, but so is having podium girls.

posted by mikeprytherch [219 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 8:35

8 Likes

If only road.cc could have somehow shoehorned something about Rapha and helmets into this article, then they could all retire.
Party

posted by Some Fella [824 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 8:51

6 Likes

mikeprytherch wrote:
colinth wrote:

This slagging off of podium girls is pathetic. They'll just be with a modelling agency and this is the gig they've been offered.

Its not a case of slagging off the girls, they are doing a job, bottom line is putting "pretty girls" on stage is sexist as well and they shouldn't be there, what Sagan did was wrong full stop, but so is having podium girls.

I agree, but some of comments are aimed directly at the girls, practically saying they deserve whatever they get.

Scott Spark 910 - Boardman Team Carbon - Planet X XLS

posted by colinth [188 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 8:56

5 Likes

Hmm - either keep the pointless podium girls AND the pinching, or do away with both. Anything else is flawed logic, internally inconsistent.

(I'm with the second option, btw).

PJ McNally's picture

posted by PJ McNally [591 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 9:50

8 Likes

Just wondering if now is the time to replace the podium girls with young club riders from local areas to present the awards to the winners. Would mean far more to them to meet their heroes than a model just doing a gig, and would give young male and female riders the opportunity to get closer to the pros than they currently do. Surely not impossible to link the presentation prizes to an event held the day/week before for local clubs? Read Millars book - a photo of Cav meeting him post event when he was a kid - same principles. Sure the riders would be happy to pass up a posed photo for a chance to make some kids day/year, and pretty sure their partner wouldn't mind. Who knows, the next Lizzie Armistead/Marianne Vos might get a bit of a boost from presenting to the current versions too (addresses that issue of podium boys that just sounds odd)

Why is there never a tailwind?

posted by What Mid Life Crisis [17 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 10:02

6 Likes

ricolek wrote:
Those girls are there for this. Seriously, how come anybody thinks their job is OK but pinching their ass is not? I'm with Sagan on this - if the girl didn't mind, everybody else should just shut up.

Oh come out of the dark ages, puleeeassse! Those girls are paid to do a specific job whether you agree with podium girls or not (I see no need for them personally). They are not paid to have parts of their anatomy groped (even jokingly) by idiots like Sagan.

Imagine your wife/girlfriend, or even your daughter was that girl, standing in the cold, getting paid to peck a sweaty, smelly cyclist on his stubbly cheek and look good at event. Thats one thing and comes under the contract of what they are paid to do. Seeing another man then grope her ass would no doubt lead you into wanting to punch him and put him on his backside. Or would you say hey, thats what she's there for! Good man! I certainly hope you have former notion or you're a neanderthal just like Sagan.

posted by Critchio [117 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 10:03

8 Likes

regarding the offence - this is a cut an paste from a recent law article.

The offence of sexual assault (by touching) is a serious and criminal offence. If you are accused of sexual assault, the Prosecution must prove that:
■You have intentionally touched another person,
■That the touching is sexual,
■That the other person did not consent to you touching them, and
■You did not reasonably believe that the other person was consenting.

Hope that clears it up a bit for those who are interested.

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2847 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 10:21

3 Likes

I never could stand Sagan. Until now. Has the worlds media gone mad, or just us grey-faced joyless Brits?

posted by sidesaddle [70 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 12:18

6 Likes

Fuck me, it's like being back in the 1970s where casual racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia and misogyny were seen as perfectly normal and acceptable.

How can any decent fellow condone the actions of this idiot?

Shame on you.

ColT's picture

posted by ColT [227 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 13:10

6 Likes

ColT wrote:
Fuck me, it's like being back in the 1970s where casual racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia and misogyny were seen as perfectly normal and acceptable.

How can any decent fellow condone the actions of this idiot?

Shame on you.

+1 Applause

posted by SevenHills [151 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 13:16

8 Likes

Nice bottom though... *runs for cover* Drooling

gazpacho's picture

posted by gazpacho [88 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 13:35

9 Likes

ColT wrote:
Fuck me, it's like being back in the 1970s where casual racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia and misogyny were seen as perfectly normal and acceptable.

How can any decent fellow condone the actions of this idiot?

Shame on you.


+1 Applause

giff77's picture

posted by giff77 [1068 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 14:22

7 Likes

I think this is being blown out of proportion, and no that doesn't make me some backward neaderthal. He pulled a silly prank. Then apologised. Victim says she didn't like it, but accepts his apology.

Newsflash: Young lad in public eye with some growing up to do, makes mistake in public eye.

The aggression in this and the other thread is more hostile than a pinch on the bum.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3475 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 15:00

6 Likes

notfastenough wrote:
I think this is being blown out of proportion, and no that doesn't make me some backward neaderthal. He pulled a silly prank. Then apologised. Victim says she didn't like it, but accepts his apology.

Newsflash: Young lad in public eye with some growing up to do, makes mistake in public eye.

The aggression in this and the other thread is more hostile than a pinch on the bum.

Any "aggression" on here isn't a criminal offence, what he did potentially is, so I don't think it's being blown out of proportion at all.

Scott Spark 910 - Boardman Team Carbon - Planet X XLS

posted by colinth [188 posts]
2nd April 2013 - 15:25

9 Likes

Why does cycling need podium bimbos? I cannot think of a single reason.

posted by David Berry [3 posts]
6th April 2013 - 13:40

5 Likes

Well I hope you are going to post his public apology that he made the other day.....just to show people how these things can be sorted out by adults without involving the law.

He's just a young lad.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1205 posts]
10th April 2013 - 21:58

6 Likes

I just love his expression... it is perfect! Goose!

muse kidd's picture

posted by muse kidd [2 posts]
19th December 2013 - 16:55

2 Likes