I would like to pass on some invaluable advice my boyfriend received from his very wise mother. Never ever gift a woman cleaning products, kitchen utensils or basically anything to do with housework.
It will NEVER be acceptable to whip a steam mop, no matter how fancy it is, out from under the Christmas tree. It is as simple as that. It seems however this nugget of wisdom has not become global knowledge, it certainly has not reached the people responsible for organising the gifts at the first round of the UCI Road World Cup.
Wiggle Honda rider Jolien d’Hoore took the biggest win of her career to date when she outsprinted a fast field to take the top spot at first round of the UCI Road World Cup at Ronde van Drenthe.
[related articles]The Belgian national champion took advantage of a well-executed lead out by teammate Chloe Hosking, Elisa Longo Broghini and Audrey Crodon in a display that was dubbed by Wiggle Honda's director sportif, Egor Van Kessel as one of the most impressive displays of women's cycling he had ever seen.
For her efforts, she received a vacuum cleaner. Yes really a vaccum cleaner.
Here in TWC towers our initial reaction to this was a unanimous "WTF, she got a vacuum cleaner, was it a joke?" But it seemed it was no joke. Others have taken to the internet to voice their opinion of the gift choice, labelling it as a 'clearly sexist' act.
But actually it seems there was no motive behind the choice of gift. It seems the sponsors give whatever they choose, paying little attention to the end user. Apparently last year, one of the male riders received a hair straightener!
I couldn't help but wonder how useful a vacuum cleaner would be to a professional athlete who spends the majority of time on the road? It seems Jolien had the same line of thought - she promptly re-gifted the vacuum cleaner to her teammate Chloe who seemed very content with the prize, taking to Twitter to proudly show it off!
— Chloe Hosking (@chloe_hosking) March 14, 2015