Age is Just a Number

Jeannie Longo, 51 years young, just took her 57th national title, winning the French national championship in the individual time trial.

Story here at VeloNews.

How big of a deal is this? First of all, the individual time trial is called the Race of Truth … no tactics, no teammates, no one fetching water bottles for you. Just you and your bike and the road … best man or woman wins.

Then there’s the number 57. Fifty-seven national titles. By comparison, George Hincapie is one of our top racers when nationals come around … and he has three titles. On the track, we have Marty Nothstein, with 34 gold medals. Marty dominated for many years, but it’s still a huge leap from 34 to 57.

Winning in one discipline is hard. Winning in two is phenomenal. But Jeannie has wins on the open road, the individual time trail, cyclocross, and on the track. That’s like Usain Bolt adding a marathon and shot put title to his sprinting wins.

Finally, we have the big Five-One. Professional bike racers have been known to race into their early 40s … to race, but not to win. You’re carrying water, escorting the team leader, fetching a rain cape from the team car … racing, but not winning.

All I can say is, chapeau. Chapeau, and … now what’s my excuse?

Advertisements
This entry was posted in bikes. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s