Leipheimer podium
Brown, on the right, after stage 1.

Judging by the volume of article comments (many of them removed to keep this a family Web site), cycling fans are more interested in one of the SRAM Tour of the Gila podium girls than almost any aspect of the New Mexican stage race.

The podium girl in question is Alexis “Lexy” Brown, known to at least some friends in Silver City as “Sexy Lexy.”

Brown, 26, volunteered to organize this year’s podium presentation. The Silver City native did not plan on being on stage, but she didn’t have enough girls available, so she stepped in.

“I’m not a podium girl, this is not like my job or anything,” she told VeloNews Saturday, just after digging through a box behind the podium to find another size small red leader’s jersey for Levi Leipheimer.

Brown’s job is to waitress at Dianne’s Cafe, just three doors down from the criterium finish line on Silver City’s main downtown street, Bullard Street.

Brown volunteers at the Gila every year in some capacity. She is a road cyclist herself, racing as a category 4 and trying some stage racing last season. “This season I’m hoping to do multi-sport, duathlon, triathlons once my swimming gets up there.”

The week as a podium girl has been fun, she said. “These are all my friends so we are having a good time. I kind of stick out, I am not the typical podium girl, but it’s been a lot of fun. I mean we are off work and we are hanging out with a bunch of hot dudes, it can’t get much better than that,” she said.

The biggest challenge of the week for Brown (and for everyone else, from racers to timekeepers) was the wind on stage 2.

“Holding the skirt down with those winds was extra exciting, but we survived,” she said.