Longo Wins Third Straight Women’s Tour de France
Jeannie Longo of France earned her third consecutive women’s Tour de France victory Sunday as Monique Knol of the Netherlands won the final stage and the United States took the team competition.
Knol, a 1988 Olympic champion, won her second consecutive stage, but she was too far back to challenge Longo. The 11th and final leg was 10 laps up and down the Avenue des Champs-Elysees in the center of Paris for a total of 37.6 miles. Knol won in a sprint over West Germany’s Viola Paulitz and American Sally Zack.
Italy’s Maria Canins, the women’s winner in 1985 and 1986, was second to Longo overall, 8 minutes 44 seconds behind. Americans Inga Thompson and Susan Elias were third and fourth, giving the U.S. team a portant boost.
In the team standings, Italy was second and Canada third.
The women’s tour was run in 11 stages over 482 miles.
Knol won the first two stages as well as the last two but faltered as Longo dominated the middle stages. At one point Longo won five consecutive days to built an insurmountable lead.
“I am going to retire at the end of the year,” Longo said. “But I have two goals left this season. I want to win the world championship and want to set the record for one hour.”
She said she will try to break the one-hour record in Mexico in September or October.
The World Cycling Championships are scheduled for August in Lyon and Chambery in France. Longo has won the road title three times. She also holds more than 10 world records at various distances.