Cycling Weekly

THE LONGO AND THE SHORT OF IT

It seems almost unthinkable that Jeannie Longo, doyenne of women’s racing with a career spanning five decades and winner of, well, just about everything, was once labelled the new Poulidor – “the Eternal Second” – in this magazine.

The Frenchwoman, who grew up at the foot of Mont Blanc in the Alps, rode her last National Championship in 2016, coming just outside the top 10 in the time trial. This year, she’ll turn 62.

You do need to go a long way back in the archives to find that unflattering comparison. This was September 1985, at the Track World Championships.

“Jeannie Longo, after she missed out to Rebecca Twigg of the USA in the pursuit. “Longo’s collection of seconds,” continued the piece, “includes the 1981 World Championship road race and the 1985 Tour de France. She must be wondering if, at 27, she can ever attain that top spot.”

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