Jeanne Golay to be inducted into Bicycling Hall of Fame

Jeannie Golay, U.S. women’s national road champion and top contender for the Olympic team. Picture was taken at Piedmont Park on November 2, 1995 in Atlanta, Georgia. (AJC Staff Photo/Rich Addicks) 11/95

A Glenwood Springs cyclist is earning some just rewards in November.

Former U.S. Cycling Team member Jeanne Golay is one of four inductees in the 2008 the U.S. Bicycling Hall of
Fame class.

“I am honored and humbled to be included with so many of my cycling heroes and peers,” Golay said.

She’ll join an elite group during the induction ceremonies in Davis, Calif., on Nov. 2, joining former inductees such as Connie Carpenter-Phinney, Juliana Furtado, former Tour de France champion Greg LeMond and Chris Carmichael.

Golay took up the sport in 1981 as a freshman at the University of Florida at the urging of her sister, Trish, who at the time belonged to a touring club on the Florida campus.

“It was really fun,” Golay said.

One year later, she raced in her first national championship.

“Every year my goals became bigger,” she said.

In 1985, she went to a U.S. cycling selection camp and made the U.S. ‘B’ team.

“Then I started making a living at it,” she said of racing in local events and tours.

She missed making the 1988 U.S. Olympic team by only a few points.

“I realized I had to change something,” she said.

What she changed was her venue. She decided to boost her training by moving to Colorado in 1990. Trish, by then married and living in Glenwood Springs, offered her a chance to live with her if Golay would serve as an au pair to Trish’s two children.

The biggest concern for the lifelong Florida resident was adapting to the cooler climate.

“I skied a lot, but on the dry days, I realized I could ride pretty comfortably,” she said.

Golay was the top-ranked American female racer from 1992-96.

She competed in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and again four years later in Atlanta. Golay remains the only American to race in three cycling events in one Olympics when she competed in the road race, the individual time trial and the points race in Atlanta.

Because the women’s road race was on the first day of competition in both Barcelona and Atlanta, she never got to march in the opening ceremonies, and despite not medaling, being an Olympic athlete was a great experience.

“Being in the village is interesting,” she said.

During her 15-year career (she retired after the 1996 Olympics), Golay won nine national titles and five World Championships medals. She raced twice in the prestigious Coors Classic, helping legendary French cyclist and teammate Jeannie Longo win the individual title.

Cycling has given Golay the opportunity to race all over Europe as well as in Japan, South America and Cuba.

She lives in Glenwood Springs with her husband, Ralph Trapani, and their 8-year-old son, Lucca, spending her free time working for a trail advocacy group in the Roaring Fork Valley.


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