Posted by: mdegeorge | June 28, 2010

Longo a true ageless wonder

Apparently, 51 is the new 30.

It is if you ask Jeannie Longo, the newly-crowned French national time trial champion. The 51-year-old took home the title late last week, her 57th French national championship across all disciplines. That’s right, 57!

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By comparison, American David Zabriskie leads the way with four (all in the time trial), George Hincapie has three road race titles, and the great Lance Armstrong has but one road race title dating back to his pre-cancer days in 1993.She’s a modern marvel who’s still churning out world-class performances on the downside of her 50th birthday. She started a decade of unparalleled dominance in 1979 and proceeded to win 11 straight titles and 15 overall.

In the mid 90s, she transformed herself into an expert time trialist, taking home nine of the 16 French time trial championships contested since 1995. To those, she’s added a myriad of titles on the track, with her specialty being the 3 km pursuit.

She also has four Olympic medals to her name, including gold in the road race in Atlanta all the way back in 1996. She has 14 total UCI World Championship medals, including five golds in the road race and four in the time trial. She also has 10 medals on the UCI Track Worlds, including four golds. Her world titles date back all the way to 1981.

She’s a remarkable display of longevity and excellence in the sport of cycling. For everyone who was so excited about the accomplishments of Dara Torres in the pool two years ago, she would have to travel to Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and come home with some hardware to match the accomplishments of Longo.

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