Jeannie Longo? Jeannie Longo?

Bicycle racing’s another sport I once followed closely but have pretty much ignored for the past decade.  Watched the Olympic Women’s Road Race this morning, and had lots of fun.  It was astonishing, though, to find Jeannie Longo leading the race early on, and fascinating to watch her control the pack late in the race.  Veteran hardly describes the woman; she was that over a decade ago.  Finished tenth!  I suspect she’s a little different from most of us….

A few race notes:

  • Women’s road racing has improved since I last watched; the tactical awareness is better, and the field is stronger.  If today was any example, there’s still too little teamwork.
  • This was a pretty brutal race.
  • The Canadian team was using what I think of as Stetina brother tactics:
    • One of the riders took a flyer.
    • As she got reeled in, another Canadian took a flyer.
    • Worked better for Wayne and Dale, though.
    • During and after Susan Palmer-Komar‘s stint at the front, I was hoping she could pull it off.  Nice work.
  • The winning break was nicely done, by both riders.  The second group, though, frittered things away; when they needed to regroup and close the gap, the racers turned defensive and tactical.  Bad form.  The bronze-medal finish was tactically interesting, though; a wide mix of talents and strategies were in play.  Predictably, the medal went to the sprinter.
  • I need to find my way back to the sport.

Too bad NBC scattered the Men’s Road coverage through last night’s broadcast, rather than showing the entire race.

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