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Longo wins another national time trial title

By Charles Pelkey

Unstoppable: Longo earned her 56th national champion's jersey on Thursday.

Unstoppable: Longo earned her 56th national champion’s jersey on Thursday.

Photo: Agence France Presse

At 50, Jeannie Longo is showing no sign of slowing down as she won her 56th national champion’s jersey, successfully defending her French national time trial title in Saint-Brieuc on Thursday.

The Grenoble native easily defeated a strong field of challengers, covering a 23.5-kilometer course in 33:42, some 33 seconds faster than second-placed Edwige Pitel. Marina Jaunatre took third, with a time more 59 seconds off of Longo’s.

Before her start, Longo told reporters that she had pegged her teammate Pitel as the favorite for the title, noting that “the course is quite difficult, and it doesn’t really suit my strengths. I don’t consider myself as the favorite today.”

Edwige Pitel, Jeannie Longo and Marina Jaunatre on the podium.

Edwige Pitel, Jeannie Longo and Marina Jaunatre on the podium.

Photo: Agence France Presse

Both Longo and Pitel ran up against a UCI commissaire who found their bikes to be in violation of technical rules. Longo’s husband and coach, Patrice Ciprelli, frantically made final adjustments to her bike and was able to bring it into compliance just barely before her scheduled start time. Pitel, however, was forced to ride a spare bike.

“It was frustrating,” said Longo. “The commissaire wanted me to withdraw my bike. I finally made the change, but that was just a few seconds before the start.”

Pitel said that despite her last-minute bike change, she credits Longo with being the strongest rider on the course on Thursday.

“I will not say that I lost because of the bike,” Pitel said. “Jeannie was stronger than me. Finishing second to Jeannie Longo is nothing to be embarrassed about. I’m happy with this outcome.”

Longo in 1980.

Longo in 1980.

Photo: Agence France Presse – file photo

Longo, who will celebrate her 51st birthday in October, earned her first national title 30 years ago, well before most of her rivals were born. She narrowly missed the podium in last year’s Olympic time trial in Beijing, finishing less than two seconds out of third place.

Thursday’s victory represented Longo’s ninth national time trial title, an event first opened to women in 1995. Longo is also scheduled to defend her national road race title on Saturday.

French National Time Trial Championships

Women

  • 1. Jeannie Longo Ciprelli, Rhone Alpes, 23.5km in 33:42.30
  • 2. Edwige Pitel, Rhone Alpes, at 0:33
  • 3. Marina Jaunatre, Vienne Futuroscope, at 0:59
  • 4. Julie Krasniak, Lorraine, at 01:34
  • 5. Mélodie Lesueur, Esgl93-Gsd Festion, at 01:46

Photo Gallery

Results

French National Time Trial Championships

Women

  • 1. Jeannie Longo Ciprelli, Rhone Alpes, 23.5km in 33:42.30
  • 2. Edwige Pitel, Rhone Alpes, at 0:33
  • 3. Marina Jaunatre, Vienne Futuroscope, at 0:59
  • 4. Julie Krasniak, Lorraine, at 01:34
  • 5. Mélodie Lesueur, Esgl93-Gsd Festion, at 01:46
  • 6. Caroline Mani, Vienne Futuroscope, at 01:51
  • 7. Pascale Jeuland, Vienne Futuroscope, at 02:37
  • 8. Sophie Creux, Esgl93-Gsd Festion, at 02:48
  • 9. Julie Augizeau, Vienne Futuroscope, at mt
  • 10. Audrey Cordon, Vienne Futuroscope, at 02:55
  • 11. Jennifer Fischer, Vienne Futuroscope, at 03:10
  • 12. Florence Girardet, Vienne Futuroscope, at 03:15
  • 13. Annick Le Helley, Ile De France, at 03:45
  • 14. Emilie Blanquefort, Aquitaine, at 03:47
  • 15. Stéphanie Baud, Bourgogne, at 03:57
  • 16. Jennifer Letue, Esgl93-Gsd Festion, at 03:58
  • 17. Juliane Wibert, Lorraine, at 04:00
  • 18. Laure Cloarec Marie, Ile De France, at 04:03
  • 19. Emmanuelle Merlot, Vienne Futuroscope, at 04:11
  • 20. Amélie Rivat, Rhone Alpes, at 04:22
  • 21. Nathalie Jeuland, Vienne Futuroscope, at 04:25
  • 22. Mélanie Bravard, Poitou Charentes, at 04:45
  • 23. Isabelle Ferrer, Bourgogne, at 04:57
  • 24. Kelly Gambier, Ile De France, at 05:07
  • 25. Estelle Patou, Esgl93-Gsd Festion, at 05:11
  • 26. Magalie Finot, Laivier Bourgogne, at 05:27
  • 27. Béatrice Thomas, Esgl93-Gsd Festion, at 05:35
  • 28. Lucie De Carlo, Champagne Ardenne, at 05:45
  • 29. Susan Charleux Smith, Auvergne, at 05:46
  • 30. Fiona Dutriaux, Vienne Futuroscope, at 05:50
  • 31. Florence Dony, Auvergne, at 05:56
  • 32. Anaïs Valiavanos, Champagne Ardenne, at 05:59
  • 33. Alna Burato, Champagne Ardenne, at 06:11

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