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

Former France manager Henri Michel dies
Apr 25

Former France manager Henri Michel dies

London : Former France manager Henri Michel, who guided the national team to an Olympic gold medal and third place in the World Cup, has died at the age of 70, the French Football Federation announced yesterday. Michel managed the team that won gold at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. Under him, France made the...

Read More
Costa in Atletico squad
Apr 25

Costa in Atletico squad

London : Diego Costa has been named in the Atletico Madrid squad for the first leg of the Europa League semi-final against Arsenal following concerns over a hamstring injury. Atletico confirmed the former Chelsea striker as part of the 20-strong group which would travel to England in a post on the club’s...

Read More
Europa League win would be  perfect send-off for Wenger
Apr 25

Europa League win would be perfect send-off for Wenger

London : Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker says the players are focused on winning the Europa League as well as their four remaining Premier League games to give manager Arsene Wenger the perfect send-off. Wenger announced on Friday he would leave Arsenal at the end of the season, bringing an end to his near...

Read More
Walcott lifts Everton to victory
Apr 25

Walcott lifts Everton to victory

London : Theo Walcott’s second-half winner against Newcastle moved Everton up to eighth -- their highest position in the Premier League table since August. In the first match since Everton fans were asked by their club to rate manager Sam Allardyce out of 10, Walcott’s strike six minutes after the...

Read More
Klopp calls for Roma respect
Apr 24

Klopp calls for Roma respect

Anfield : Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp warned the club’s fans not to repeat the scenes that saw windows of Manchester City’s team bus smashed by thrown cans and bottles ahead of their Champions League semi-final, first leg against Roma at Anfield today. City became just the latest victims of a...

Read More
Man City thrash Swansea 5-0
Apr 23

Man City thrash Swansea 5-0

Manchester : Manchester City celebrated their title success in style with a resounding 5-0 win over Swansea at the Etihad Stadium. David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus were all on target as City outclassed the Swans in their first match since being crowned Premier...

Read More
Barcelona lift Copa del Reay trophy
Apr 23

Barcelona lift Copa del Reay trophy

Madrid : Barcelona won their fourth successive Copa del Rey with a merciless 5-0 thrashing of Sevilla as departing hero Andres Iniesta joined the usual suspects on the scoresheet. Luis Suarez netted twice in the first half, Lionel Messi grabbed his 40th of the season and Philippe Coutinho marked his first final...

Read More
Arsenal beat West Ham
Apr 23

Arsenal beat West Ham

London : A late flurry of goals saw Arsenal secure a 4-1 win over West Ham in their first game since Arsene Wenger revealed he is stepping down as boss. It took the Gunners 51 minutes to open the scoring on a day of high emotion at the Emirates as Nacho Monreal fired in his sixth goal of the season in all...

Read More
Chelsea book final against Man United
Apr 23

Chelsea book final against Man United

Wembley : Olivier Giroud proved the scourge of Southampton once again, setting Chelsea on course for FA Cup semifinal success and a mouth-watering clash with Manchester United. A week after coming off the bench to net a brace and inspire a remarkable comeback win at embattled Saints in the Premier League, the...

Read More
Bayern cruise into DFB Pokal final
Apr 19

Bayern cruise into DFB Pokal final

Leverkusen : Thomas Muller’s hat trick helped Bayern Munich cruise into the DFB Pokal final with a 6-2 thrashing of Bayer Leverkusen at the BayArena on Tuesday. A Robert Lewandowski goal within the first three minutes set the stage for what was to come from Jupp Heynckes’ men, and further strikes...

Read More