lundi 17 août 2009

Lance who?

Evelyn Stevens left Wall Street and investment banking for Italy and a run at a career in cycling

MSN reposted an article that appeared recently in the Wall Street Journal, about Evelyn Stevens, age 26, who recently discovered that she has a talent for riding a bicycle and who just may become the next sensation in the less flashy world of women's cycling (click on blog entry title for link to WSJ article). Female professional athletes often do not get the attention that their male counterparts command, and tend to toil away in obscurity while the men get the endorsements and television time.

Stevens worked in investment banking until recently, when she decided to devote herself to cycling full-time. She was working for Lehmann Brothers, which famously collapsed last September. It sounds like she chose the right time to shift gears. A graduate of Dartmouth, she is no stranger to competition and excelled there on the women's tennis team.

Stevens even looks like she would be a natural at cycling. When I looked at her photo, I immediately thought of the Frenchwoman Jeannie Longo, arguably the greatest female cyclist in the history of the sport. At 50, Longo is still kicking asses and taking names. Like Stevens, Jeannie Longo has the perfect body type for high-performance cycling. Also like Stevens, she was an accomplished athlete in another sport before she turned to cycling. In the case of Longo, it was skiing. Not surprising, since she was born in the French Alps. Her longevity as a professional athlete is truly amazing, however. Why all the fuss about Lance Armstrong, who is a mere 37 years old? Jeannie won her first world title in 1984, before her most recent rivals were even born! She has won 69 national and international titles. So far.

La Reine Jeannie is almost 51 years old