Jeannie Longo wins French national pursuit championship

49-year-old peaking for Beijing Olympics

French female cycling legend and five-time world champion Jeannie Longo on Tuesday clinched a 55th career trophy in winning the individual pursuit at the national championships in 3 minutes, 48.896 seconds, finishing ahead of great rival Cathy Moncassin, cousin of former Tour stage winner Frédéric Moncassin.

"I started off a bit less quick than Cathy but from half-way I gave it all I had," said the 49-year-old Longo, who later this summer expects to compete in her seventh Olympics. She earned a berth last month with an outstanding win in both the road race and time-trial at the French championships.

Longo, 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.

Longo, who will be 50 in October, has won world titles in time-trials and road races, but her only Olympic gold came when she won the road race in Atlanta.

© BikeRadar & AFP 2008 

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