106-year-old retires from competitive cycling

Robert Marchand hangs up his cycle helmet on doctors' advice - but will continue to ride for pleasure

Record-breaking cyclist Robert Marchand has finally decided it is time to retire from competitive riding - at the age of 106 - but says he will still get on his bike for fun.

He set his first world mark for the over 100 age group in February 2012, when he rode 24.25km (15.068 miles) in an hour. He bettered that two years later, when he managed 26.92km (16.7 miles).

In between, he did 300 laps of Parc de la Tête d’Or Velodrome in Lyon, in four hours, 17 minutes and 27 seconds to set a new 100km record for riders over 100.

At 89, shortly after retiring, he completed the Bordeaux-Paris event, covering the 600 kilometres in 36 hours.

There is even a col that bears his name that is part of the tough Ardéchoise race. Mr Marchand rode the 10km stretch that climbs 450m in 2014 - finishing in under an hour.

Last January, Mr Marchand pedalled for 14 miles in an hour at the national velodrome in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines to set the first record for cyclists aged 105 and over.

That will be his last record, friends have said, after doctors advised him to take life more easily. But he still holds a licence at local cycling club Cyclos mytriens club de Mitry-Mory, and will continue to ride for pleasure.

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