Robert Marchand smashes his own age group world Hour record - at the age of 102

Frenchman who entered first race 88 years ago rides 26.925km to beat previous distance by 10 per cent

by Simon_MacMichael   January 31, 2014  

Robert Marchand (picture credit UCI)

102-year-old Robert Marchand has this afternoon smashed his own age group Hour record, riding 26.925km around France’s new national velodrome at Saint Quentin en Yvelines near Paris – 10 per cent further in distance than he managed when he set his previous best two years ago at the age of 100.

Marchand’s earlier record, for a category created especially for him by the UCI, was set at the governing body’s World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland in February 2012.

That day, he rode 24.251 kilometres, saying afterwards: “I just wanted to do something for my 100th birthday.”

Remarkably, that ride came 80 years after he had last taken to the boards of a velodrome, and 86 years after his first competitive race, which he had to enter under an assumed name due to his being below the age limit for entry.

He has ridden in every edition of the Ardéchoise sportive since it was launched in 1992, when he was aged 79, and has a mountain pass named after him, the Col Robert Marchand, which is at 911 metres above sea level – the cyclist himself was born in 1911.

An article published by Le Parisien this morning has three videos of Marchand – one in which, as he turned 100 in 2012, he spoke about his love of cycling and another that looks back on his life, while the third looks at his preparations for today’s record breaking ride.

21 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Wow! 10% further than when he was 100 y.o. Impressive.

posted by Celeste08 [38 posts]
31st January 2014 - 18:10

like this
Like (18)

Good on him. Respect.

posted by numbercruncher [28 posts]
31st January 2014 - 18:16

like this
Like (11)

Inspirational! Bravo! Applause

Never in a hurry on a bicycle.

posted by GoingRoundInCycles [134 posts]
31st January 2014 - 18:19

like this
Like (15)

Great, Terrific, Amazing...
Bloody Brilliant!!

Grizzerly

posted by Grizzerly [113 posts]
31st January 2014 - 18:25

like this
Like (13)

Better with age. Well done sir! Applause

mingmong's picture

posted by mingmong [185 posts]
31st January 2014 - 18:43

like this
Like (11)

I hope I can just got on a bike when I'm 100. Pedaling will be optional

posted by jarredscycling [436 posts]
31st January 2014 - 18:50

like this
Like (10)

Someone buy that man a carbon bike!

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1059 posts]
31st January 2014 - 19:20

like this
Like (12)

Does he get tested ??? Just to play the devils advocate.

lostinfrance's picture

posted by lostinfrance [14 posts]
31st January 2014 - 19:25

like this
Like (10)

Should have just beaten his record so he could come back next year and set another one, like pole vaulter Sergey Bubka.

A target for me in 2078 I suppose.

Between the S and the LOW

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1161 posts]
31st January 2014 - 20:14

like this
Like (8)

If that dosen"t deserve a rainbow jersey I don't know what does!

posted by Juan Unoze [2 posts]
31st January 2014 - 20:43

like this
Like (15)

Hats off to you sir Cool

posted by billyman [122 posts]
31st January 2014 - 21:03

like this
Like (9)

lostinfrance wrote:
Does he get tested ??? Just to play the devils advocate.

He had a pretty good comeback to the inevitable doping question a couple of years ago:

When asked if he planned to get any artificial help for his ride, Marchand insisted: "The only doping for me is water with a spoonful of honey that I put in my canteen - and that's it."

"If I was doping, though, maybe I could hit 35 km/h," he added.

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [7839 posts]
31st January 2014 - 21:09

like this
Like (11)

Imagine how far he's gonna go when he's 105!

Rich

posted by griggers [14 posts]
31st January 2014 - 21:29

like this
Like (9)

Chapeau

posted by fret [18 posts]
31st January 2014 - 21:33

like this
Like (8)

A 10% increase in 2 years? Wow... at this rate, he'll be going 117 times faster by the time he's 200 - if my calculations are correct. Impressive guy.

posted by Quince [86 posts]
31st January 2014 - 22:54

like this
Like (8)

An inspiration to us all. What an amazing guy!

posted by Kadenz [31 posts]
31st January 2014 - 23:31

like this
Like (11)

I would like to think that a sponsor would see this as an ideal opportunity to give this top bloke a modern bike, in exchange for a second attempt.

It would be interesting to see just how much of a difference the latest technology would make.

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

Neil753's picture

posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
31st January 2014 - 23:40

like this
Like (9)

Chapeau +1

posted by allez neg [4 posts]
31st January 2014 - 23:58

like this
Like (14)

Ive heard Lampre Merida are looking at signing him up...

posted by farrell [1247 posts]
1st February 2014 - 0:24

like this
Like (13)

Top dude, big respect. Wonder how many of us will be even able to get on a bike when we're 102?

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2114 posts]
1st February 2014 - 0:55

like this
Like (8)

OldRidgeback wrote:
Top dude, big respect. Wonder how many of us will be even able to get on a bike when we're 102?

Wonder how many of us will even reach 102?
Respect. Applause

TDL

tourdelound's picture

posted by tourdelound [80 posts]
1st February 2014 - 11:27

like this
Like (7)