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105-year-old Frenchman sets new one-hour cycling record

Robert Marchand heads for a new record
Robert Marchand heads for a new record Reuters/Jacky Naegelen

An 105-year-old Frenchman, Robert Marchand, set a new one-hour cycling record for his age on Wednesday. He pedalled for 22.547 kilometres in the national velodrome in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, west of Paris, to the cheers of hundreds of spectators.

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"I feel emotional and I'm even asking myself if all this is real!" said Marchand.

He could have gone faster but he didn't see the sign saying there were 10 minutes to go, which would have made him speed up, he said. 

"Now I'll wait and see if anyone wants to take me on," he joked. 

105-year-old Frenchman breaks cycling record

"I'm not tired, my legs aren't hurting but my arms are. It has to hurt somewhere!" he said after doing 92 laps of the track.

Age is slowing him though - three years ago he managed to ride 26.927 km in one hour, a record for someone aged over 100.

The one-hour world record is 54.526 km, set by British Tour de France winner and multiple Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins

Marchand, a retired firefighter who was a national gymnastics champion and a boxer, attributes his enduring fitness to a healthy diet and lots of exercise. 

"I do between 10 and 20 kilometres a day (cycling) but I don't train outside," he comented. "I'm afraid I might catch flu."

 

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