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Centenarian sets cycling record

world Updated: Feb 17, 2012 21:02 IST

AFP
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French cycling enthusiast Robert Marchand on Friday set a new hour cycle record -- at the age of 100.


The centenarian rode 24.25 km (15.1 miles) in 60 minutes watched by crowds of cheering supporters at the International Cycling Union (UCI) velodrome in Aigle, Switzerland.

Marchard kept a steady pace and was hardly out of breath when he finished, telling his fans: "I could have gone faster, I didn't want to."

The feat does not threaten the 49.7 km (30.8 miles) achieved by Czech cyclist Ondrej Sosenka in 2005 at the age of 29, but it will be recognised by the UCI in a new over-100s category.

"It will be official," said Frederic Rey, an official at the World Cycling Centre, the headquarters of the UCI.

Marchand, who marked a century in November, enjoyed cycling as a teenager but only returned to the sport at the age of 78.

He is a keen member of his local cycle club in Ardeche, south-central France, which helped co-ordinate the record attempt.

"Doing a little bit of sport every day, that's the secret," said president of the L'Ardechoise club Gerard Mistler, who described Marchand as a role model.

"He's someone who has always enjoyed working, who is always in good humour, and who has always been sporty."

"He has never smoked and sometimes drinks alcohol but nothing to excess."

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