Jeannie Longo - winning at 50 - how?

Mar 31, 2009
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CN: Jeannie Longo claimed her 56th French national title in the time trial championship in St. Brieuc on Thursday. Her victory came 30 years after she took her first blue, white and red jersey on the road back in 1979.

Longo always amazed/puzzled me. how can on rider be so successful for so long? And here I'm not really aluding to doping. a) Her first national titl was in 1979, where supposedly effective blood doping didn't exist, and b) even if she did/do dope, that argument would assume that no other female rider is doping.

The fact remains that a 50 year old woman rode the fastest time. How?
Does this mean that the competition is too weak? I find it hard to believe that in a (cycling) country of the size France has there is not enough female talent to produce som good TTers. But I am more inclined to believe this reasoning than doping.

Any thoughts?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
hmronnow said:
CN: Jeannie Longo claimed her 56th French national title in the time trial championship in St. Brieuc on Thursday. Her victory came 30 years after she took her first blue, white and red jersey on the road back in 1979.

Longo always amazed/puzzled me. how can on rider be so successful for so long? And here I'm not really aluding to doping. a) Her first national titl was in 1979, where supposedly effective blood doping didn't exist, and b) even if she did/do dope, that argument would assume that no other female rider is doping.

The fact remains that a 50 year old woman rode the fastest time. How?
Does this mean that the competition is too weak? I find it hard to believe that in a (cycling) country of the size France has there is not enough female talent to produce som good TTers. But I am more inclined to believe this reasoning than doping.

Any thoughts?
just ask big boat. :D
 
Mar 11, 2009
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Interesting. I had read (on here - so can't guarantee the validity) that in certain sports you can get stronger as you get older... but 50! Impressive. I know it's not really comparing apples with apples but Armstrong's comeback at 37 doesn't seem to be totally out of the realms of possibility.... Sorry to bring the Armstrong name into this thread.
 
Mar 31, 2009
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Seth Bullock said:
Interesting. I had read (on here - so can't guarantee the validity) that in certain sports you can get stronger as you get older... but 50! Impressive. I know it's not really comparing apples with apples but Armstrong's comeback at 37 doesn't seem to be totally out of the realms of possibility.... Sorry to bring the Armstrong name into this thread.
Well, he hasn't won anything - yet - except beating up som local kids.

There was a 6day rider going strong into his fourties (I haven't got his name on top of my head, and can't bother googling now). And even on the road, I think a few continued to or close to 40. But Longo has gone 10 years further.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Age doesn't matter as much as everyone thinks, if the mind is up to it, who knows where the limit is?
Elite athletes typically have a competitive lifespan of 8 years at the top. It doesn't seem to matter when this 8 years start. Depending on the sport there is some variance, power athletes and athletes in impact sports have shorter competitve spans, skill, strength and endurance longer. In the case of skill strength and endurance the mind is the key.
Now...how old is Lance? It's not like garzelli underperformed at the Giro.
 
I know this is not PC but the depth of the women's field has always been very, very shallow. So freak Longo winning at 50 doesn't surprise me. It's also why watching women's racing is like watching paint dry.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
hmronnow said:
CN: Jeannie Longo claimed her 56th French national title in the time trial championship in St. Brieuc on Thursday. Her victory came 30 years after she took her first blue, white and red jersey on the road back in 1979.

Longo always amazed/puzzled me. how can on rider be so successful for so long? And here I'm not really aluding to doping. a) Her first national titl was in 1979, where supposedly effective blood doping didn't exist, and b) even if she did/do dope, that argument would assume that no other female rider is doping.

The fact remains that a 50 year old woman rode the fastest time. How?
Does this mean that the competition is too weak? I find it hard to believe that in a (cycling) country of the size France has there is not enough female talent to produce som good TTers. But I am more inclined to believe this reasoning than doping.

Any thoughts?
you might find examples in Dave Scott and Mark Allen the two greatest ironman triathlons

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Scott_(athlete)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Allen_(triathlete)
 
Mar 12, 2009
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competition

With all due respect, is there really that much competition? One interesting question- how many competitors in the race were even alive when she won her first title?
 
Mar 12, 2009
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hulkgogan said:
I know this is not PC but the depth of the women's field has always been very, very shallow. So freak Longo winning at 50 doesn't surprise me. It's also why watching women's racing is like watching paint dry.
Sorry for pretty much aping your opinion about the lack of competition. However, I wouldn't necessarily agree with the paint drying comment. 2003 and 2008 world's races and the 2004 Olympic race are some examples where the women's race blew away the men's. I was in Hamilton for the 2003 race- the women's race(almost won by Longo) was great, the men's race was about as bad as bike racing gets.
 
She's a freak of nature, who hasn't lost her desire to race one bit, and her competition is weak.

Joop Z won the World's at 38, and in impressive fashion.

Gilbert Duclos-Lasalle won Paris Roubaix at I believe 38.

Age isn't a huge factor if you are healthy and injury free, and most important you have the desire to win. Take a look at Jack Lalanne, sure the guy is a bit of a huckster with his products, but he is still super fit at 90.
 
Age is less of a factor if the competition is weak. I'm racing with some retired pros in their 40's right now, who can still put the hammer down. But it would be inconceivable that a male rider could win something significant among the pros at 50. There is a huge difference between female pro cycling and male pro cycling in this regard.
 
Apr 2, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
She's a freak of nature, who hasn't lost her desire to race one bit, and her competition is weak.

/QUOTE]

Alpe she looks like she is about seventy years old. Bless her for her determination and talent!
 
Jun 24, 2009
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Jeannie Longo how?

By being a class above the rest and continuing to train harder than the rest just as Beryl Burton did and she won 73 British National championships as well as being a 7 times a world champion (plus 3 silvers and 3 bronze). In 1967 Beryl won the women's 12 hour time trial overtaking the men's winner and establishing a new women's record that was better than the men's!
 
I think we need to separate all these examples of riders around forty performing well and someone performing well at fifty. Everything I have read says that past forty there are definite decreases.

Even near forty there have to be decreases. Every year it seems like there is a pro who wants to continue racing but cannot find a contract.
 
Mar 31, 2009
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auscyclefan94 said:
it's called epo. no doubt about it. she would of perfected it more than armstrong. LOL
I am not convinced. I would rather believe Supervet's explanation. The EPO explannation:
a) she won her first title in 1979 - where EPO did not exist, and where - apparently from reading this forum - even blood doping was not used.
b) if she is taking EPO, surely someone else is too - and she still wins at 50.

I also agree that there is a difference to winning at 40 and at 50.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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hmronnow said:
I am not convinced. I would rather believe Supervet's explanation. The EPO explannation:
a) she won her first title in 1979 - where EPO did not exist, and where - apparently from reading this forum - even blood doping was not used.
b) if she is taking EPO, surely someone else is too - and she still wins at 50.

I also agree that there is a difference to winning at 40 and at 50.
She clearly is very talented no doubt.... the French have a reputation for being anti-dope, woman's field, the woman she raced were French, etc. She could have been jacked and some of her competitors werent, she has won that race almost every time since Michael Jackson was a teenager and Jimmy Carter was president... Was the 2nd place finisher a top woman's rider on a big Pro team? I dont know I didnt look at the results.
 
Jun 26, 2009
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Danny Clark

karlboss said:
Danny clark aussie sprinter 6-day extraordinaire...until he was 40.
danny clark was actually well into his forties before finally retiring from 6 day racing and was still competative at national level close to 50
 
Jun 26, 2009
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why the sceptisism?

every generation there comes a stand out athlete who is genetically superior to their peers. Fausto Coppi was one, Eddy Merckx was one and Lance armstrong is one. Why is it that people who have never competed at an elite level themselves feel that they have the right to assume that because one individual is so dominant at what they do best then they must be drug cheats?
 
May 14, 2009
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beroepsrenner said:
every generation there comes a stand out athlete who is genetically superior to their peers. Fausto Coppi was one, Eddy Merckx was one and Lance armstrong is one. Why is it that people who have never competed at an elite level themselves feel that they have the right to assume that because one individual is so dominant at what they do best then they must be drug cheats?
Difficult to say that Lance was genetically superior when he got just a normal motor as an elite athlete.
He was never considered as a top rider until 1998. His results only showed abilitues for classic. He was unable to climb decently, losing 20mn in mountain stages and finishing with gruppetto.
Genetically he was similar to Bassons but he got the magic potion from Dr. Ferrari
 
May 12, 2009
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While I don't know that he's actually won any big races recently in the top category, Ned Overend, who is 53, has regularly placed high in both mountain and road events in his late 40s and early 50s. Including 2nd on the Mt. Evans Hill Climb in 2006 at age 50.
 
Jun 26, 2009
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nobody said:
Difficult to say that Lance was genetically superior when he got just a normal motor as an elite athlete.
He was never considered as a top rider until 1998. His results only showed abilitues for classic. He was unable to climb decently, losing 20mn in mountain stages and finishing with gruppetto.
Genetically he was similar to Bassons but he got the magic potion from Dr. Ferrari
Armstrong was standing on the podium in senior level triathlons when he was just 15 years old. he was world professional road champion at 21. Pre cancer he was a much heavier rider than he is now. Recovering from cancer he never regained those extra kilos which hampered his ability to climb the long mountain passes of the TDF. He also became more mentally focused.
I guess some people just see what they want to see.
 
Jun 26, 2009
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slcbiker said:
While I don't know that he's actually won any big races recently in the top category, Ned Overend, who is 53, has regularly placed high in both mountain and road events in his late 40s and early 50s. Including 2nd on the Mt. Evans Hill Climb in 2006 at age 50.
Exactly! there are plenty of examples of people of similar age still competative at elite level. How old is Steve Tilford? Kathy Watt stood on the podium at this years Australian championship in the time trial at the age of 44
Why do so many people assume there must be something sinister about it?
I suggest you all get on with doing the best you can and stop trying to drag down high achievers to your own level to make yourselves feel better.
 

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