On Sunday September 18, on a formal podium, a French cyclist made the sound of The marsellesa, world champion rainbow tunic on the shoulders. Her name? Jeannie Longo. We are not in Wollongong, a seaside resort in southeastern Australia that is hosting the Road Cycling World Championships until September 25, but in Trento, Italy.
The transalpine city organized, far from the spotlight of the World Championships in Australia, the Gran Fondo World Championships, a competition of the International Cycling Union reserved for fans of all ages. The opportunity for the tricolor legend to come and enrich a list of winners a little more than one even wonders if he manages to take it into account.
Ten titles since 2015
In Italy, Jeannie Longo added not one but two world crowns to her collection: the time trial and the road race in the 60-64 category. Ten crowns in total since her first participation in the event, in 2015. An absolute record.
In France, women’s road cycling and Jeannie Longo have become a pleonasm. Her results -thirty-one French champion titles, nine world champions among the elites, gold in the road race at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games (United States), to which are added other track titles- also as their longevity have contributed to it.
French women’s cycling has now started to professionalize and riders like Juliette Labous and Evita Muzic embody the next generation. Meanwhile, at the dawn of her 64th birthday (she will celebrate it on October 31), Jeannie Longo is still pedaling…and still insatiable.