PARIS – A 105-year-old man has made history by cycling more than 14 miles round a track in an hour.

Nearly a decade ago, Frenchman Robert Marchand was told by a coach that he should give up cycling because he would never achieve anything on a bike. He proved that prediction wrong again yesterday.


Marchand set the first hour record in the over-100s category in 2012, then beat it himself two years later at the age of 102, when he covered more than 16 miles.

Cheered by hundreds of fans, the Frenchman completed 92 laps round the velodrome at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, near Paris, on Wednesday.


“I did not see the sign warning me I had 10 minutes left,” said Marchand. “Otherwise I would have gone faster, I would have posted a better time. I’m now waiting for a rival.”

Marchand was born in Amiens, near the frontline of the First World War, three years before its outbreak. He worked as a firefighter in later life, before going to live in Venezuela and Canada.

Back in France in the 1960s, Marchand made a living through various jobs that left him with no time to practise sports. He was 68 when he began a series of cycling feats.


At 105, Marchand is not making plans for the future. His coach, Gerard Mistler, would not be surprised to see him back on the boards, though.

“Setting goals for himself is part of his personality,” Mistler said. “If he tells me he wants to improve his record, I’ll be game. Robert is a great example for all of us.”

Source: The Guardian