Vuelta a España: Meet cycling's podium girls -- and men

    Chris Froome being kissed by two hostesses on the podium of the Tour de Romandie cycling race in Belgium in 2013. Branded sexist by some, could these podium girls soon become a thing of the past?

    Story highlights

    • Vuelta first of Grand Tours to end tradition of podium girls
    • Custom branded sexist by some
    • Vuelta winners will be sharing podium with women and men

    (CNN)Should Chris Froome become the first Briton the win both the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España, he may be congratulated on the podium at the finish line in Madrid by a man as well as a woman.

    It's a change organizers of the three-week race, which started August 19, have made after much discussion in Spain about all-female podiums in sports including cycling and motor racing, which is increasingly seen as old-fashioned and sexist.
      "We couldn't stay out of the debate because we are using all girls on the podium," Vuelta race director Javier Guillen told CNN by phone.
      "But the first thing we want to keep is those jobs for those professional people who are doing very well," he said.
      "We are not removing the ladies from the podium, but what we are doing is introducing a male host, we will combine a man and woman in an alternative way."
      Belgium cyclist Yves Lampaert celebrates on the podium after winning La Vuelta's second stage.

      Ground-breaking