French cyclist sets the pace -- at 105
 
, Posted on 04-Jan-2017


French cyclist sets the pace -- at 105

Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines : Robert Marchand is chasing another world record when he jumps on his bike to compete in the senior hour endurance on Wednesday.

Make that uber-senior -- for, while still sprightly, the Frenchman is 105years old and racing in a category all of his own.

Three years ago he managed to ride 26.927 kilometres (nearly 17 miles) at the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines velodrome outside Paris, a record for someone aged over 100.

He says surpassing that distance inside an hour will be tough but he's determined to give it a go, even if the modest centenarian insists: "I'm not in such good shape as I was a couple of years back.

"If I were, I'd be a phenomenon, and I'm not."

Admirers contest that assessment as he finalises preparations for the challenge, his gaze alert, his gait steady.

"He's a Martian, he's phenomenal," says Jean Ridel, a mere whippersnapper at "just" 84 who will himself try to set a mark in the 85-year-old category next year.

At his age, never mind Marchand's, "you have to be able to keep your balance on a bike and anticipate the bends," says Ridel.

Marchand's current feat may be well shy of Bradley Wiggins' 54.526 kilometres, yet this veteran among veterans earns no less admiration.

In any case, "I am not here to be champion. I am here to prove that at105 years old you can still ride a bike," rasps Marchand, who completed 110 laps in his 2014 effort.

Gerard Mistler, a cycling coach who advises Marchand, remains impressed as ever.

"He is very regular in his pedalling. Nothing to excess -- he is efficient."

Jean-Michel Richefort, another coach keeping a watchful eye on Marchand, adds: "His heart is exceptional. 

"He has the heart of a 60 year old and above all his cardiac rhythm is very slow and regular. Yesterday we did a 20-minute test and over the 20 minutes his pulse rate never rose above 100."

Marchand, a former national gymnastics champion, boxer and firefighter, puts his enduring fitness down to lifestyle, including a healthy diet and no smoking.

"I've done sport all my life, eaten loads of fruit and vegetables, not too much coffee.

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

 

AFP


Related News

 India's Srikanth stuns Chen to win Australian Open
Jun 25

India's Srikanth stuns Chen to win Australian Open

Sydney : India's Kidambi Srikanth claimed a first victory over Olympic and two-time world champion Chen Long to win the Australian Open Superseries final in Sydney on Sunday. The 11th-ranked Srikanth outgunned the sixth-ranked Chinese star 22-20, 21-16 in 46 minutes for his second successive Superseries...

Read More
Pakistan's Fakhar goes from village pariah to 'lord'
Jun 23

Pakistan's Fakhar goes from village pariah to 'lord'

Mardan : Fakhar Zaman was once banned from playing cricket in his village and beaten by his brothers because he was simply too good -- but he has returned a hero after his starring role in Pakistan's Champions Trophy win. His eyes bright, the tall 27-year-old posed for selfies and was garlanded with flowers as he was...

Read More
Federer  claims 1100th tour win
Jun 21

Federer claims 1100th tour win

Halle : Eighteen-time major champion Roger Federer picked up his first win of the grass-court season by thrashing Japan’s Yuichi Sugita in the first round at Halle yesterday. The Swiss top seed, who skipped the entire clay-court schedule in order to be fully fit for Wimbledon, brushed aside lucky loser...

Read More
Ronaldo won't quit Real -- club boss
Jun 20

Ronaldo won't quit Real -- club boss

Madrid : Cristiano Ronaldo will be staying at Spanish giants Real Madrid and no offer has been received to tempt him away, club president Florentino Perez insisted Tuesday. Unhappy Ronaldo has been linked to Manchester United and other top clubs after reportedly threatening to leave Real and quit Spain after running...

Read More
Pakistan captain gets hero's welcome
Jun 20

Pakistan captain gets hero's welcome

Karachi : Hundreds of fans gave Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed a hero's welcome as he arrived home carrying the Champions Trophy early on Tuesday. Men, women and children packed Karachi airport as Sarfraz returned from England, where Pakistan thrashed arch-rivals India to be crowned surprise...

Read More
ICC could axe Champions Trophy for more T20 World Cups
Jun 20

ICC could axe Champions Trophy for more T20 World Cups

London : The Champions Trophy could be scrapped in favour of staging the World Twenty20 every two years, according to International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive David Richardson. Pakistan thrashed India by 180 runs to win this year's edition of the Champions Trophy at The Oval on Sunday, with a worldwide...

Read More
 Perez to remain as Real Madrid president until 2021
Jun 19

Perez to remain as Real Madrid president until 2021

Madrid : Florentino Pérez will remain as president of Real Madrid until 2021 after no other candidates ran against him, the Spanish champions announced on Monday. "As no other candidature was put forward to the board ... it is proclaimed that Mr Florentino Pérez Rodríguez is president of Real...

Read More
Pakistanis rejoice after team hammers India in Champion's Trophy
Jun 19

Pakistanis rejoice after team hammers India in Champion's Trophy

Islamabad : The streets of Pakistan's cities lit up with celebrations Sunday night after the country's cricket team defied the odds to thrash rival India in the Champion's Trophy final in London. The upset, which saw Pakistan win by a record margin in the final of a global event, came after they had been on...

Read More
Never mind the cricket! India beat Pakistan ...in field hockey
Jun 19

Never mind the cricket! India beat Pakistan ...in field hockey

London : India may well have suffered a 180-rout at the hands of Pakistan in the Champions Trophy cricket final but they came out on tops on the other side of London -- in field hockey. India ran out 7-1 winners over their old rivals in a World Hockey League fixture at Lee Valley in east London just as Virat Kohli's...

Read More
Players won't budge on pay demands - Warner
Jun 19

Players won't budge on pay demands - Warner

Sydney : Australia's cricketers will not back down in a bitter pay dispute, David Warner has warned amid fears their October tour of India is looming as a flashpoint. As the June 30 deadline for a new memorandum of understanding between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association fast...

Read More