Robert Marchand, a 102-year old rider from France, beat his own hour record on the newly opened cycling track in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines on Friday. Marchand rode 2,5 kilometres more than he did when he had just turned 100 years old two years ago.
The new hour record for the UCI 100-plus category which was created especially for Marchand, now stands at 26 kilometers and 927 metres.
Marchand was born in 1911 in the norther French city of Amiens. He started riding when he was 14 years old, in 1925, but during his long working career he didn't have time anymore. He took up the bike again when he was 67 years old. When he was 89 he finished the 600-kilometre race between Bordeaux and Paris in 36 hours.
He set his first hour record to mark his 100th birthday. In 2012 he rode 24 kilometres and 251 metres in Aigle. Two years later he rode 10 per cent faster than he did when he was 100 years old.
The veteran Frenchman who lived through two world wars in France also holds the record for 100-kilometres in his age group. On the track in Lyon he finished his 100 kilometre race in four hours and 15 minutes, averaging just over 23 kilometres per hour.
"With doping I could have ridden faster," Marchand joked. "But there is no doping. I only have water with some honey in my bottle here."
The current world hour record is held by Czech rider Ondrej Sosenka. He rode 49 kilometres and 700 metres in 2005. Fabian Cancellara has already announced he will try to beat that record in 2014. The multiple Swiss world champion considers Palma de Mallorca for his record attempt.