Marchand sets 100 kilometre age-related record at 100 years of age
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Friday, September 28, 2012

Marchand sets 100 kilometre age-related record at 100 years of age

by Shane Stokes at 1:59 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Evergreen Frenchman rides at 23 km/h for over four hours

Robert MarchandSeeking to lay down a record for his age group over 100 kilometres, the highly impressive 100 year old cyclist Robert Marchand surpassed his targets during the effort today. The Frenchman had aimed to average 22.5 kilometres per hour for the distance, but instead exceeded 23 km/h (14.3 mp/h).

He consequently completed the distance in four hours 17 minutes 27 seconds, a superb effort for someone his age.

“I did a little better than I hoped,” he said after the effort in the Lyon Velodrome, according to AFP. “However, the going was tough in the last few kilometres.”

The record was set in the Parc de la Tête d’Or Velodrome, where he rode 300 laps

“I feel like a guy who is a hundred years old, I feel good. I’m an ordinary guy,” he said. “I rode a bike for 52 years, it is not new today.”

Marchand will turn 101 in November and his in remarkable shape. Apart from continuing to train regularly, he lives alone, is self-sufficient and continues to drive. He is just five feet tall (1m52), but clearly has a strong heart, a very sharp mind (as evidenced by the video here) and superb health.

He started cycling in 1925 at 14 years of age, then later left France and lived in Canada and Venezuela. He worked as a fireman, market gardener, show salesman and wine dealer, and competed as an amateur boxer. Marchand returned to cycling in 1978 at 67 years of age, building up the distances and training with riders who were far younger than he was.

He finally retired from work at 89 years of age and around that time rode the Bordeaux-Paris event. He covered the 600 kilometres in 36 hours. More recently, he’s limited the distance, although he still does a considerable amount. “For the last five years I have decided not to go for rides of more than 100km,” he said in February of this year, when he lay down an age-related hour record of 24.251 kilometres.

“There is no point going overboard. I want to keep cycling for some time yet.”

His advice to others is simple: keep moving. “I do ‘physical culture’ every day. It works out my whole body and keeps me supple.

“Some people when they reach 80 years old, start playing cards and they stay immobile. Not me. I’ve never been able to keep still…”

Today’s ride underlines that perfectly, riding for over four hours at a speed that riders several decades younger could find difficult.


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