Thursday, January 5, 2017

What is your Goal for 2017? French cyclist Robert Marchand sets new record aged 105

French cyclist Robert Marchand sets new record aged 105

4 January 2017
From the sectionEurope

He may not be the fastest cyclist round a velodrome, but he is easily one of the oldest.

Robert Marchand has clocked up 105 years and now a new record for the furthest distance cycled in one hour.

The French cyclist managed 22.547km (14 miles) at the national velodrome, taking the top spot in a new category - for riders over 105.

Mr Marchand already holds the record for those aged over 100 - 26.927km - set in 2012.

He "could have done better", he says, but missed a sign showing 10 minutes to go.

"My legs didn't hurt," he told BFMTV. "My arms hurt but that's because of rheumatism."

To be fair, he had admitted before the event at the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines velodrome near Paris that breaking his previous hour record would be tough.

"I'm not in such good shape as I was a couple of years back," he told AFP news agency.

"I am not here to be champion. I am here to prove that at 105 years old you can still ride a bike," he said.

Image copyrightAPImage captionEnfin - Robert Marchand completes his record-breaking hour

Hundreds of spectators cheered him on trackside.

Born on 26 November 1911, Mr Marchand puts his fitness down to diet - lots of fruit and vegetables, a little meat, not too much coffee - and an hour a day on the cycling home-trainer.

A prisoner of war in World War Two, he went on to work as a lorry driver and sugarcane planter in Venezuela, and a lumberjack in Canada.

No stranger to sport outside cycling, he competed in gymnastics at national level and has been a boxer.

The current men's hour record is held by the UK's Bradley Wiggins - 54.526km - which he set in June 2015.

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