UPDATE: Mr Marchand completed
the climb in under an hour...
CENTENARIAN cycling wonder Robert Marchand is aiming to celebrate his 103rd birthday in style today – by cycling up the col that bears his name as part of the Ardéchoise race.
That Col Robert Marchand on the D532 road between Saint-Félicien and Lalouvesc is a hard 10km on the road and a climb of 450m – but Mr Marchand says he is going to do his best. He told BFMtv: “It’s going to be tough, but I still hope to succeed – but if I don’t, then don’t hold it against me!”
Mr Marchand broke the world centenarian speed record in 2012 by doing 24.25km in an hour and then, earlier this year, did it again and raised the distance to 26.927km. He also holds the centenarian world speed record, covering 100km in Lyon in 4hr 17mins 27 sec at an average of more than 23kph.
The former firefighter from Seine-et-Marne has already cut his cake to beef up his calories for the event, which is the largest cycle race in Europe – seeing more than 12,000 taking part.
He joined them this morning and said before he set off: “My doctor tells me I’m doing well and he says to continue what I’m doing – but perhaps to go at it a bit less hard.”
Even so, he added that he wanted to keep racing until he is 105.