To all those who had stopped expecting to see her win, 47 year-old Jeannie Longo showed that she is still the best French time triallist as she took her 50th National title in Chantonnay on Thursday. In the women's race against the clock, 'La' Longo surprised everyone including herself by taking seven seconds off Edwige Pitel in the 24.7 km-course, while Maryline Salvetat finished third.
In the morning before the race however, Longo wasn't too sure about herself. "I would like to win, but when I look at the start list, I tell myself 'oh là là' - I'm not even sure about finishing in the top five," the French all-record-beating championesse told L'Equipe. "I haven't raced against the others this year at all."
This winter, Longo lost her mother, who passed away in February. "That was very hard for me," she added. "I gave everything to her; I spent the whole winter by her side. After [her death], I got up in the morning not knowing what to do during the whole day."