Jan 05, 2017

105-yr old sets new cycling record

A 105-year-old Frenchman has set the first ever benchmark for cyclists of his age by doing 92 laps in one hour at a velodrome west of Paris.

Robert Marchand managed 22.547km (14 miles) at the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines velodrome, taking the top spot in a new category - for riders over 105.

"I did not see the sign warning me I had 10 minutes left," he said. "Otherwise I would have gone faster, I would have posted a better time."

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

By comparison, the overall one-hour record is 54.526 km, set by British Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins in 2015.

Firefighter, lumberjack, boxer

Marchand was born in northern France in 1911, three years before World War I. Sometime in the 1920s, the president of his teenage cycling club told him he was not made for cycling because he was too small in stature.

Despite growing up to be only 1.52 meters (5-foot) tall, Marchand took up boxing and also became a national gymnastics champion. Over the decades, he worked as a firefighter in France, a truck driver in Venezuela and a lumberjack in Canada.

He started training cycling when he was 67 years old. He also cycled from Paris to Moscow in 1992, when he was already 81.

(Excerpts from dw.com)