- Oil producers meet on output cuts, possible rollover
- One killed, 14 wounded in Ohio nightclub shooting
- Cities and monuments switch off for Earth Hour
- Blasts kill six as Bangladesh commandos storm Islamist hideout
- Top honour for Gulf Hotel
- Barbar clinch handball title
- Federer, Wawrinka advance in Miami
- Innovative fabrics bark up Tokyo fashion tree
- Kavalani and sons receives ISO 9001: 2015 certification
- Beijing favourite Lam wins Hong Kong leadership
French cyclist sets the pace -- at 105
By: dt news , Posted on 04-Jan-2017
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!"
London : Former Liverpool captain, coach and caretaker manager Ronnie Moran has died at the age of 83, his son Paul announced on Wednesday. "I am devastated to tell everyone on behalf of the family that my dad passed away this morning after a short illness," Paul Moran said on Twitter. Moran spent his entire playing...Read More
London : Beleaguered Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has decided to stay at the club, according to British media reports on Monday. The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mirror said Wenger will inform Arsenal's board he wants to extend his contract, which expires at the end of the season. West Bromwich Albion manager Tony...Read More
Paris : French football legend Raymond Kopa, who won the European Cup three times with Real Madrid in the 1950s, died Friday aged 85 after a long illness, his family said. Kopa rose from a poor mining family in northern France to become one of Europe's greatest players ever in a Real team alongside Alfredo di...Read More
London : Liverpool announced a pre-tax loss of £19.8 million ($24.5 million, 23.2 million euros) for last year on Wednesday despite record revenue of £301 million. The loss in the year ending May 2016 was due to investment in the first-team squad and pay-offs to manager Brendan Rodgers, who was sacked in...Read More
Berlin : Brazil's Olympic champion Walace has joined Bundesliga strugglers Hamburg in a deal valued by German media on Tuesday at nine million euros. "Walace is a robust and strong player. We are delighted he's able to start playing for us straight...Read More
London : Arsene Wenger apologised after he was sent off and then shoved the fourth official during Arsenal's dramatic 2-1 win over Burnley but could still face a significant ban. Having taken the lead through Shkodran Mustafi's first goal for the club on Sunday, Arsenal saw Granit Xhaka dismissed for a needless foul...Read More
London : The football world rallied around Ryan Mason on Monday after the Hull City midfielder fractured his skull and underwent surgery following a nasty clash of heads with Chelsea's Gary Cahill. The 25-year-old was in a stable condition in hospital following the collision with Cahill 14 minutes into Sunday's...Read More
Berlin : Spanish World Cup winner and double European champion Xabi Alonso is set to retire at the end of the season when his Bayern Munich contract expires, a report in Germany said. Leaders Bayern kick off the second half of the Bundesliga season at Freiburg on Friday in their bid for a fifth...Read More
London : Players in English football found guilty of diving could face retrospective bans from the Football Association, The Times newspaper reported Tuesday. In neighbouring Scotland, players can received a two-match ban if they are found to have won a significant advantage for their team by tricking the referee by...Read More
Beijing : China said Monday it will cut foreign player numbers in top-flight teams to curb massive spending on overseas talent, with Chelsea's Diego Costa the latest to be linked to a big-money move. Teams in the Chinese Super League will be able to field no more than three foreigners in a match when the new 2017...Read More