100-Year-Old Robert Marchand Sets 100-Kilometer Cycling Record

Robert Marchand, who set over-100-year-old 1-hour record last February, also set  a record for the fastest 100-year-old to cycle 100 kilometers (62 miles).

The ever-green Frenchman consequently completed the distance in Lyon velodrome with a superb effort for someone his age: in four hours 17 minutes 27 seconds. Marchand had aimed to average 22.5 kilometres per hour for the distance of 100km, but instead he exceeded 23 km/h (14.3 mp/h).

100-year-old Robert Marchand set 100km cycling record
100-year-old Robert Marchand set 100km cycling record.

Marchand rode 24.25 kilometers (15.1 miles) in one hour in February, setting a one-hour speed record in the new over-100s category created by the International Cycling Union (UCI), cycling’s governing body. He is still the only person in this category.

Marchand started cycling in 1925 when he was 14 years old, 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. He returned to cycling when he bought his first bike in 1978 at 67-year-old, 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 rode the Bordeaux-Paris event around that time. He covered the 600 kilometres in 36 hours.

“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.”

Long live, Marchand! You’re really an inspiration.

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