In this episode of older people winning in physical pursuits, 105-year-old Frenchman Robert Marchand, who has previously broken a record in the over-100s category, set time for a new over-105s class record.
The 105-year-old cycled more than 14 miles round a track in an hour, managing to make history. Back in 2012, Robert Marchand set the first-hour record for the over-100s category and followed through two years later by beating his own record by covering more than 16 miles.
His recent record on Wednesday did not see him covering as much distance as the previous two but the over-105s category is a new one created especially for him to show out the magnitude of the feat.
Hundreds of fans gathered to cheer him on as he went 92 laps round the velodrome at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, near Paris. The fans filled the air with chants of “Robert, Robert” and gave him a standing ovation when the time was completed. Despite the uproarious reception, Robert Marchand believes that he could have done even better;
“I did not see the sign warning me I had 10 minutes left, Otherwise I would have gone faster, I would have posted a better time. I’m now waiting for a rival.”
His physiologist, Veronique Billat, also believes that he could have done better but for a different reason. According to him;
“He could have been faster but he made a big mistake. He has stopped eating meat over the past month after being shocked by recent reports on how animals are subjected to cruel treatment,”
Surprisingly, Robert Marchand was 68 when he began his forays into cycling feats. When he was younger he was alleged to have no time to practice sports. His coach, Gerard Mistler, says that “Setting goals for himself is part of his personality,” and that “If he tells me he wants to improve his record, I’ll be game. Robert is a great example for all of us.”