102-year-old Robert Marchand to attempt to break his own Hour Record

102-year-old Robert Marchand still holds the Hour Record[1] for 100+ age group. Tomorrow, the evergreen Frenchman will attack his own record.

On February 17, 2012, Marchand rode 24.25 kilometers (15.1 miles), setting a one-hour speed record in the new over-100s category created by the UCI. Tomorrow, almost two years later, he’s aiming to exceed 25 km on the new velodrome in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, just outside Paris.

On September 28, 2012, Marchand also set 100-Kilometer cycling record for 100+ year old category, with four hours 17 minutes and 27 seconds, at the Parc de la Tête d’Or Velodrome in Lyon.

Robert Marchand
Robert Marchand holds the record of 24.25 km in a category specifically created for him by cycling’s governing body, the UCI. He set that record on the track at the World Cycling Centre (WCC) in Aigle on February 17, 2012.

Robert Marchand was born in 26 November 1911 in Amiens dans la Somme, France. He started racing when he was just 14 years old, entering his first event under an assumed name because he was too young to compete. He left France later, 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 kilometers in 36 hours.

Now he lives in Mitry-Mory, near Paris.

“My advice to anyone, young or old, is to 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.”

NOTES:
[1] Hour Record: The hour record for bicycles is the record for the longest distance cycled in one hour on a bicycle. There are several records. The most famous is for upright bicycles meeting the requirements of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). It is one of the most prestigious in cycling. Hour-record attempts are made in a velodrome.

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