June 26, 2004
Longo wins 48th national championship
The greatest female cyclist of all time will compete in her 6th Olympics this summer in Athens, as Jeannie Longo won the French road championship today. Longo is 45, but took the title by more than a minute over Elisabeth Chevanne-Brunel and Sandrine Marcuz.
It's Longo's 48th (!!) French title in road, time trial or track cycling.
I watched her win her Olympic gold in Atlanta; she so clearly outclassed the field it was amazing, then she turned around and took silver in the time trial.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 26, 2004 | Permalink
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Just out of curiosity, why can't we call Jeannie Longo the greatest cyclist of all time, independent of gender? SIX Olympic appearances? FORTY-EIGHT national championships? HUNDREDS upon HUNDREDS upon HUNDREDS of career wins? By the time he was 45 the Cannibal was sitting on the couch throwing back fruity Belgian beers and barking at the tv about how Axel gets no respect, while this extraordinary athlete is still out on the roads putting up extraordinary results.
(Hopefully the fact that I check this site regularly shows that I _do_ think that Eddie was the greatest male cyclist of all time and have nothing but the deepest respect for the profundity and superhuman nature of his accomplishments.)
Posted by: Christopher at Jun 26, 2004 10:11:35 PM
I thought about leaving out "female" when I wrote that, but 1) I always assume somebody reading the site may not know a lot about cycling, and 2) I think a case could be made that women's cycling is less competitive than men's cycling.
It's unfair to hold that against Longo, of course: she's beaten anybody who showed up to race her, and that's as much as anyone could do.
Posted by: Frank at Jun 26, 2004 11:25:52 PM
Thanks, Frank. I was asking "out of curiosity" and you've satisfied it pretty well, especially with your first point. As someone who regularly points friends to your site in my initial--and thereafter continuous--attempts to get them to learn more about competitive cycling, I certainly hope that you're getting new readers every day. (My favorite moment in these months long conversions--when they're successful--is the moment when they realize that their favorite cyclist isn't Lance Armstrong, and may in fact be someone who is never likely to win a Grand Tour at all. Not that I don't like Armstrong, mind you.)
Your second point is a little more thorny; so much so that I'm not going to directly address it but just say that I think that Longo still being active at 45, and still posting big wins, trumps the murky "relative levels of competition" argument.
Thanks for tdfblog.com.
Posted by: Christopher at Jun 27, 2004 9:21:00 AM