Quigley, 25, is a track cyclist who has won the individual-pursuit championships four times. Golay, 33, is a top road racer who participated in the 1992 Olympics. Both women are training rigorously in hopes of making the US Olympic team in 1996.
It’s not a coincidence that Janie Quigley of Los Alamitos, California, began cycling the same year the 1984 Olympics were held in nearby Los Angeles. Just 14 at the time, she was a star high-school soccer player who,d been sidelined by a nasty knee injury. She was open to suggestion when her father came home from the Games jazzed about a sport he,d just seen: track cycling.
Perhaps it was her dad’s experience as a race-car driver that attracted him to an activity in which athletes chase round and round a velodrome. Whatever the reason, Quigley herself was soon smitten with track cycling. As a junior racer, she collected five national titles and two world championships, plus two national titles in speedskating, her cross-training sport.
Now 25 and an undergrad studying nutrition and dietetics at the University of Delaware in Wilmington, Quigley is a four-time national champion in the individual-pursuit race. Two cyclists compete in this whirlwind event, starting at opposite ends of the track and trying to overtake each other (if that proves impossible, one wins by beating the other’s time). She also lays claim to five national championships in the points race, an event in which 24 riders share the same quarterk kilometer track for 100 laps, breaking it up every five laps with a full-on sprint
Despite all her wins, though, Quigley-hasn’t made it to the Olympics–yet. In 1992, although she,d dominated the individual-pursuit event for two years, circumstances conspired to keep her off the Olympic team: Each country is allowed only one entry in the 3,000-meter individual-pursuit, and Quigley, who,d suffered a hamstring pull, was beaten out for the berth by cycling dynamo Rebecca Twigg.
Still, 1996 looms on the horizon, and Quigley hasn’t given up on her Olympic dream. And since a points race has been added to the Games, you could say her chances of competing in Atlanta have just doubled.
Three cyclists will represent the United States in the 110-kilometer road race over some of Atlanta’s curviest streets next summer. Veteran racer Jeanne Golay hopes to be one of them–and although the final qualifying race for the Olympic team won’t be held until June 1996, her prospects look good.
It won’t be the first time for the 33year-old Golay. She was the top U.S. finisher at the 1992 Games in Barcelona, coming in sixth in the road race. Most recently, she holds the titles of 1995 Fresca points champion and winner of the road race at the 1995 Pan Am Games.
Golay, who’s from Hollywood, Florida, got into cycling when she was 20 and her sister invited her out for a weekend ride. A volleyball and softball star in high school, she quickly channeled all her athletic energy into cycling. Six years later she captured the alternate spot for the Seoul Olympics. Still, at the time there wasn’t much in the way of prize money for female cyclists, and Golay lived out of her Honda, racing to win money to buy gas to get her to the next race.
Women’s cycling has since blossomed. Golay’s now a member of the prestigious Saturn cycling team and has a sponsorship deal with Trek. And instead of living out of her car, she’s now firmly ensconced in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, a site that fosters her somewhat unconventional method of cross-training: telemark skiing, when most cyclists are skate skiing the flats or lifting weights.