Stage 2 of the Tour de France went to Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali. It was his first Tour stage win, and unfortunately, Nibali was forced to learn a painful rookie lesson shortly thereafter: Don’t lean in to kiss the podium girl until she hands you something.
The way it works is that, after each stage, various cyclists come to the podium. You have the winners of various jerseys (green, white, polka dot), and you have the stage winner, who may or may not also hold the yellow jersey (for being the race’s overall leader) at that point. Cyclists on the podium are flanked by what are known as podium girls, attractive young women who are ostensibly there to hand the cyclists extra prizes, but are really there to, well, just be seen there.
Once a podium girl hands a cyclist one of his prizes, usually flowers and all too often a goofy stuffed animal, he leans down and gives her a very European kiss on each cheek, or sometimes an extra-continental right-left-right series of kisses. The key here for the cyclist is to wait until he is handed his prize, then lean in for the kiss. Poor Nibali jumped the gun with the second podium girl, and this is what happened:
Oof! Nibali nods at her, appearing to seek confirmation that the moment for kissing had arrived, then makes his move, only to have the podium girl turn away so that she can get his stuffed lion. Nibali then tries to play it off by adjusting his yellow jersey, but the hilarious damage was done.
The best part of the clip from NBC Sports is that, just as this embarrassing moment is happening, analyst Bob Roll is saying, “This is an incredible boost to your morale.” Even Roll couldn’t quite hide a chuckle as he said that.