After 59 national championship titles and seven Olympic games, Frenchwoman Jeannie Longo has come away without a national title for the first time in many years, and has now given up hope of being selected to her country's team for the Olympic Games. Longo finished 12th in the womens' road race on Saturday, after taking fifth in the time trial on Thursday.
Longo, 53, had to finally concede to the next generation of French talent: Pauline Ferrand Prevot, who won the time trial race, is 20 years old, as is the winner of the road race, Marion Rousse.
Her aspirations of participating in an eighth Olympic games “is over,” Longon said on Friday, according to the AFP. She has been in every Olympic games since 1984, when the women's cycling events were first introduced, and has won four medals, including gold in the road race in 1996. The French women's team for the 2012 London Olympics is scheduled to be announced on July 5.
Over the past year, Longo has suffered the death of her father and problems concerning her “whereabouts”. In addition, her husband and trainer, Patrice Ciprelli, has confessed to buying doping products.
She didn't want to end her career with failure, Longo said. “I think that would be wrong, that is why I relaunched myself this spring. As long as there is life, there is hope.”