Robert Marchand: Cycling 100 km at age 100

Will he set a new world record?

A French man is giving new credence to the phrase "extreme sports" by attempting to become the first centenarian to ride 100 km (62 miles) in a single go. Robert Marchand, a former firefighter from Paris, said he hopes to complete the journey in five hours Friday.

"If I make it, I'll become the best in the world," Marchand told Reuters Sept. 27. "I know that all over the world, in China, in the United States, in Russia, they're already looking for someone to beat my record."

Friday's contest is not Marchand's first attempt at a world record. In February, he set a centenarian speed record by riding 24.25 km (15.1 miles) in a single hour at the Cycling Union velodrome in Aigle, Switzerland.

Marchand's success on the bicycle, a sport he returned to at the age of 78, has inspired a certain amount of speculation about his eating habits and behavior.

“Doing a little bit of sport every day, that’s the secret,” Gerard Misler, president of the L’Ardechoise club, told earlier in the year.

Marchand, however, was less scientific in his explanation, telling Reuters, "I have never deprived myself of anything: not wine, not food, not women, but always with moderation."

And the canteen he carries with him? Inside, he says, is nothing but water and a dash of honey.


Photo: Peter C/Flickr

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