Jeannie Longo books ticket to seventh Olympics

Edwige Pitel protests her own omission

French cycling legend Jeannie Longo on Monday clinched a place to compete in her seventh Olympics at the age of 49.

The five-time world champion staked her claim with an outstanding win in both the road race and time-trial at the French National Championships last week. She finished in 31 minutes 16 seconds, over a minute ahead of second-placed Edwige Pitel.

The 1996 Olympic road race champion has competed in every Games since women's cycling was first introduced. She will compete in both the road race and time-trail races in Beijing. She is one of three women selected for the French team along with Cristel Ferrier-Bruneau and Maryline Salvetat, with Pitel, who competed at the Athens Games, missing out.

Pitel she would be contesting the decision to omit her from August's Beijing event. Pitel claimed she got the best World Cup result of a French rider this season, 11th in Montreal, Canada, and that her non-selection for the August 8 to 24 sporting festival was based on personality issues.

French women's team

Road Race: Christel Ferrier-Bruneau, Jeannie Longo, Maryline Salvetat

Time-trial: Jeannie Longo, Maryline Salvetat

© AFP 2008

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