Centenarian sets new record
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  Posted October 31st, 2012 by Zdenko  in Cycling | No comments yet.

Cycling legends

Source: The Associated Press

French cyclist Robert Marchand has ridden 100 kilometres in 4 hours, 17 minutes and 27 seconds.
Doesn’t sound fast? Consider this: Marchand is 100-years-old! Setting off on his Trek racing bike around noon at a track in Lyon, Marchand covered the distance at an average pace of 23.3 kph — not far off the 24.25 kph pace he kept up to set the world hour record for his age group in Switzerland last February.

Robert Marchand during his record ride.

A French centenarian set a record for the fastest 100-year-old to cycle 100 kilometres (62 miles) on Friday, September 28, 2012 and said he had outdone himself. Robert Marchand, who will turn 101 in November, an amateur cyclist who claims to have clocked tens of thousands of kilometres in the saddle, finished the distance in 4 hours, 17 minutes and 27 seconds.

“I did a little better than I hoped,” he said. “However the going was tough in the last few kilometres.”

No prior record for a centenarian riding 100 km exists, but cycling’s international governing body will recognize Marchand’s feat, French cycling federation head David Lappartient said. The president of Marchand’s cycling club says he’s an inspiration.

“He’s an example for humanity, he gives people hope,” said Gerard Mistler.

Robert Marchand was a teenage cyclist but didn’t return to the sport until his 70s.

Marchand, who has lived in Canada and Venezuela and whose professional life has included stints as a market gardener, shoe salesman and wine dealer, said he only took to cycling when he bought his first bike in 1978. Born on November 26, 1911 Marchand rode 24.25 km (15.1 miles) in 60 minutes watched by crowds of cheering supporters at the International Cycling Union (UCI) velodrome on February 17, 2012.

His bid for the centenarian record was certified by the French national cycling federation.

French centenarian Robert Marchand, born on November 26, 1911, attempts to establish a record for the fastest 100-year-old to cover 100km , at the outdoor Velodrome track of Lyon, central France, Friday, Sept. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

100-year-old cyclist Robert Marchand of France gets on his bike to set a world record for cycling non-stop for one hour at the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) velodrome in Aigle

French centenarian Robert Marchand, as he completed the fastest 100-year-old to cover 100km, at the outdoor Velodrome track of Lyon, central France, Friday, Sept. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

Centenarian cycles along
17-Feb, 2012

Cyclist Robert Marchand of France celebrates after setting a world record for cycling non-stop for one hour, in the over 100- year old category, at the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) velodrome in Aigle. Reuters/Denis Balibouse

French cycling enthusiast and centenarian Robert Marchand celebrates after he set new record in the Master 100 years category on the track of the International Union Cycling in Aigle. AFP Photo/Sebastien Feval.

French cycling enthusiast and centenarian Robert Marchand (R) speaks with his coach Magali Humbert after setting a new record in the Master 100 years category on the track of the International Union Cycling in Aigle. AFP Photo/Sebastien Feval

Born on November 26, 1911 Marchand rode 24.25 km (15.1 miles) in 60 minutes watched by crowds of cheering supporters at the International Cycling Union (UCI) velodrome . AFP Photo/Sebastien Feval

Who is Robert Marchand
Robert Marchand, the French centenarian who earlier this year broke the age group world record for The Hour and just few days ago another record for riding 100 kilometers faster than anyone his age has ever managed before.

Robert Marchand, who will turn 101 in November, just covered the 100 km distance in four hours and 17 minutes, with an average speed of 24.251 kilometers an hour.

“If I make it, I’ll become the best in the world,” he said before the ride, “I know that all over the world, in China, in the United States, in Russia, they’re already looking for someone to beat my record.”

The distance didn’t prove too much for Marchand, who lives in Mitry-Mory near Paris. Earlier this year, he revealed: “For the last five years I have decided not to go for rides of more than 100km. There is no point going overboard. I want to keep cycling for some time yet.”

He has ridden the Ardèchoise every year since the sportive was launched in 1992, when he was aged 79, and even has a mountain pass in the area named after him, the Col Robert Marchand, which has an elevation of 911 meters – the last three digits of his year of birth.

Robert Marchand giving interviews after his record ride

Robert Marchand and his record time

Marchand, a former gym instructor to the Paris fire brigade who also boxed and was a decent weightlifter in his younger days, has attracted the attention of scientists keen to find out what lies behind his vitality.

Every three months, he undergoes tests at the Inserm public research institute in Switzerland.

“They told me I had the constitution of a 55-year-old man, they think it’s genetic,” he explained.

“I have never deprived myself of anything: not wine, not food, not women, but always with moderation.”

When asked if he planned to get any artificial help for his ride, Marchand insisted: “The only doping for me is water with a spoonful of honey that I put in my canteen – and that’s it.”

“If I was doping, though, maybe I could hit 35 km/h,” he added.

Isn’t this an amazing story!!

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