The Jeannie Longo is 53 years old and are we the only ones thinking, geez, move on, get another life, let the young people have a shot. Your time in the shiny soleil has passed. Give it up, Jeannie.
When we look at this poignant and timeless photo of Longo and her husband Patrice Ciprelli, we’re thinking a number of things, none of which have anything to do with cycling.
They should be slow-pedaling every morning to the boulangerie and gently chiding the baker’s wife about the recent price hike on the baguettes. Jeannie should be nervously fretting about her 22 year old daughter’s choice of fiancee and whether she will ever figure out a career. Does Longo even have kids? We’re doubting that one — just messes up the training schedule.
What the H-E-Double Toothpicks is she doing? She could almost be a French grandma by now. Patrice should be picking her out a sweater for Christmas; she should be puttering around the house, composting the garden soil, darning socks, volunterringat the local shelter for battered women.
This seems like a sad and one dimensional life. Who wants to be hassled about doping allegations when you’re in your fifties? Jeannie should be living a spirited intellectual with her local book club, meeting every Thursday to discuss Michele Butor and the lesser known short stories of De Maupassant.
She should be working on perfecting her tartiflett, a speciality in her Haute-Savoie region — a casserole dish made with potatoes mixed with pieces of pork and Reblochon cheese. For God-sakes, just because you can ride fast at age 53 doesn’t mean you should. It’s the kind of obsession that seems so American and yet she’s given it a French twist.
Instead Jeannie and Patrice spend their quiet evenings discussing doping laws, UCI regulations, legal strategies and court fees. Is this a happy, fulfilling life? Know when to say when.
Twisted Spoke is a massive Francophile. We majored in French Language and Literature in college. We’d like to be understanding and generous about Longo’s plight. But really, non.
Enough, Longo. C’est assez. Terminez.