Cyclist Born in 1911 Sets World Record

105-year-old Robert Marchand is an old hand at records, says he 'could have done better'
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2017 5:03 AM CST
At 105, Cyclist Sets New Record
French cyclist Robert Marchand, 105, is congratulated after setting a record for distance cycled in one hour in the over-105 category.   (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

A French cyclist has set a new record for riding 14 miles in one hour. If that doesn't sound so remarkable—the world record is 33.8 miles—consider the category in which Robert Marchand was competing: over 105. The retired firefighter did it the first time riding in under one hour in the over-100 category in 2012, then topped it two years later at age 102, the Guardian reports. He also holds the 100-plus record for fastest 100km (4 hours, 17 minutes). He turned 105 a few months ago and competed Wednesday in the new category created just for him. Marchand circled the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines velodrome near Paris 92 times with a crowd cheering him on.

Afterward, he was modest about his feat, telling BFMTV via the BBC that he "could have done better" but missed a sign telling him he had 10 minutes to go. He adds, "My legs didn't hurt … My arms hurt, but that's because of rheumatism." Marchand, who cycles daily and once biked from Paris to Moscow, tells the AP he's "now waiting for a rival." Chips in his physiologist: "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." (This French sailor set an around-the-world record.)

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