We are about to witness a bicycle smorgasbord at the UCI World Championships in Geelong this week.
The World Championship course covers part of stage 1 of the 2009 XmasEpic, so many of you will already be familiar with the Epic nature of the course.
Let’s have a look at the Oz teams:
First the men:
Some pretty big names there. Captained by “veteran” Stuey O’Grady. Note that the registration number is the birthday of the entrants. Not many born in the early 70’s. My question is: did they have a show of hands for the protected riders this year?
Lisa Jacobs has written a review of the women’s team chances over at cycling tips.
(Incidentally, her blog offers some more cycling clichés from a female perspective:
Bleeding from your eyeballs.
Scraping the bottom of the barrel of hurt.
In the box.
Humping the top tube.)
Note they have a youngster born 1991. And also someone born in …. 1958(!) 51 years old? Surely it must be a mistake. No, no mistake. Amazing, competing in a World Championship at age 51. Must be just making up the numbers. But no again: Jeannie Longo (Born: October 31, 1958, Annecy, France) won the 2010 French time trial championship at age 51.
She is widely considered one of the greatest female cyclists of all time. She has competed for France in seven consecutive Olympic Games (and we may see her again in London).
She has won over 1000 elite races, including:
French time trial championship 9 times.
French road race championship 15 times.
UCI track world championship 4 times.
UCI time trial world championship 4 times.
UCI road race world championship 5 times. (Cadel has won this once.)
She’s sometimes called the world greatest athlete that no one knows. Such is the curse of being female, french and not having suffered from cancer.
Even calling her the greatest women’s cyclist in history – a title she earned 20 years ago and which has gone unchallenged since – seems to fall short of summing up her career.
I’m thinking one word: Epic.