Youth usually wins but nobody has dared tell Jeannie Longo yet, the French woman famed for her competitive streak…
Considered the greatest women's road cyclist of all time, Jeannie Longo has clocked up a stunning 57th national title in the French championships, winning the time trial for the third consecutive year. Her victory came 31 years after she took her first blue, white and red jersey on the road back in 1979. It brings her total of national titles to a staggering 57… on road and track (she's got 13 world titles too and an Olympic Gold)
Now 51 years of age, the legendary competitor shows little signs of slowing down, and will doubtlessly be aiming for number 60 in the years to come.
"I'm from the mountains and follow a biological diet," she says by way of explanation for her longevity.
Jeannie Longo has been a sports enthusiast since her childhood, encouraged by her mother, a school and gym teacher, and her father, who also taught his three daughters to box and wrestle.
Cycling does seem to be a sport where with the right training, and attitude plus a good set of genes the best can sometimes stay at or near the top longer than might be expected. Lance Armstrong will still be a contender at this year's Tour just over a year short of his 40th birthday. The 49 year-old Malcolm Elliot won a round of this year's Halford's Tour Series and played a pivotal role in his Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta team's charge to overall victory in the series…
Keen on cycling now??