On the right way to do the best job at the bike race:
BEFORE & DURING THE RACE:
Yo, I’ma let you finish, but never, ever forget that you are representing the race, its sponsors, and the sport of bike racing at all times. AT ALL TIMES!
Know what’s happening in the race. Who are the big names? Who’s local? Listen to the onstage announcers, watch every day’s stage recap, and if you aren’t already familiar with bike racing, do a little research into the sport.
Be familiar with race operations and the rest of the crew. Who’s your stage manager? Where are the day’s jerseys? Are the flowers here? Where’s volunteer sign-in? (You will get asked that a lot.)
If you are given the opportunity to choose your podium dresses, remember that it will be hot/rainy/freezing/windy, and you will be outside onstage. Nothing too short, nothing that will fly up in the wind, nothing that will show sweat or wrinkle. Now is not the time to experiment.
If you are working with a partner, mirror your hair–if your chignon rests on the right side of your head, your partner’s should rest on the left. Same goes for your accessories–flowers, scarves, jaunty top-hats. Looking at your partner should be just like looking into a mirror.
How do you look from behind, head to toe? Remember that you will be seen from behind a fair percentage of the time you are onstage, and groom yourself accordingly. I am talking to you, girl-who-thinks-she-can-get-away-with-halfassing-her-flatiron-job.
Have your jerseys, flowers, trophies, everything you will need while you’re onstage double-checked and in place. If you have a stage assistant, this makes things easier. If not, set everything up so it will be within reach onstage well before the ceremony begins.
Know your VIPs & dignitaries and which award they are presenting. Instruct them on what they will do onstage in two simple sentences BEFORE you are onstage. ”After I zip the jersey, you will stand with the rider for photos for about five seconds. Then please step to the side for a moment so we can do the podium photo.” If they need a quick demo on how to put a jersey on a rider, now is a great time to do it.
Spit out your gum!
Check yourself one last time…how do you look? Awesome? SMILE! This is going to be fun.
This is not about you! This is about tradition, celebration, and recognition of the riders, the sponsors, and the sport.
Podium hands never touch, never push, and never point. An open, graceful hand and a smile work just as well to guide people, and they are so much more telegenic. I cannot stress this enough: No. Touching.
When you give the rider anything–trophy, flowers, plushie–present it, don’t just shove it at him/her. This is why it is an awards presentation. Both hands on the item you are handing over, smile, and say something both quick and nice like “Great ride!” or “Well done!”
Jerseys should be presented from the side, like a matador. One presenter, one zipper. (If you’re lucky, you’ll get velcro instead of a zipper.)
Podiums will generally be first, second, and third on the day’s stage and the race classification leaders. Second & third place on the day receive flowers and Euro-style kisses (left cheek, then right cheek), then should be podium-handed onto the podium. The stage winner and classification leaders receive flowers/trophies/jerseys, Euro-style kisses, AND podium photos.
For podium photos, clasp hands with your partner behind the rider. Lean in, plant the kiss, then squeeze her hand to signal that it’s time to lean out and smile for photos. Keep your other hand by your side or on your hip and both feet on the ground.
After the last presentation, remember that you’re offstage, not off-duty–there are plenty of spectators, media, and race staff around. Think carefully before you get too sassy on social media. Now go get some dinner, and rest up–you did a great job.