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105-year old sets new record

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Old January 4th 17, 09:26 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
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Default 105-year old sets new record


Robert Marchand after setting 105+ age group Hour Record (source BFM
TV via Twitter).jpg

French cyclist Robert Marchand has this afternoon become the first
person to set an Hour Record for the Masters aged 105 years and above
category - one specially created for him by the UCI. The 105-year-old
set a distance of 22.547 kilometres at France's national velodrome in
Saint Quentin en Yvelines, near Paris.

His record attempt was streamed live by the French network BFM TV, and
video of him completing his ride can be watched here (link is

VIDEO - 22,547 km en une heure. Revivez l'exploit de Robert
Marchand à vélo https://t.co/QDnzfYxrcH (link is external)
pic.twitter.com/rVmRg3PJVD (link is external)

— BFMTV (@BFMTV) January 4, 2017 (link is external)

Five years ago, the UCI created the existing Masters aged 100 and over
category especially for Marchand, who set his first record in 2010,
when he rode 24.251 kilometres at the World Cycling Centre in Aigle,

His previous experience of riding on a track had come eight decades
earlier, and afterwards, he said: “I just wanted to do something for
my 100th birthday.”

In 2014, he bettered the record by 10 per cent when he rode 26.925
kilometres at Saint Quentin en Yvelines - a record that still stands.

The same venue will host today’s record attempt on the record, which
is due to commence at 4pm local time, and assuming Marchand completes
the 60 minutes will also see the creation of a record in a new
category for Masters aged 105 and over.

It’s now more than 90 years since he first entered a bike race, which
he had to do under an assumed name because he was below the age limit
for entry.

He has taken part in every edition of the Ardéchoise sportive since
its debut 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 – he was born in 1911.

Accompanying Marchand today will be Véronique Billat, a university
professor who specialises in physiology and performance, and is an
expert in VO2 max, which measures the maximum volume of oxygen someone
can use while exercising.

She has been studying Marchand since he turned 100, and told Le Figaro
(link is external) that following his latest VO2 max results she was
“super excited” for today’s record attempt.

“The improvement of the record from 2012 to 2014 had shown that it
was possible to improve his performances despite advancing age with
personalised exercises.

“We are now certain that it is possible to improve Robert’s VO2 max
thanks to his latest results, which measured 40 millilitres of oxygen
per minute per kilogram of body weight, which is an increase from

“This is incredible news since these measures are similar to those of
a sedentary person aged 50 years.”

While Marchand may be very much an exceptional case, Professor Billat
said that his data showed the value of continuing to exercise – or
even taking it up in the first place – late in life.

“The [results] show that in any case exercise is a factor in youth.
This is a beautiful message for Humanity: where there’s life, there’s
hope, since the tendency of the VO2 max curve to decline, which seems
inexorable from the age of 30, can be reversed.

“We knew that already for people aged 50, but not for subjects aged
105. These data are exceptional, above all given they show the values
of someone half his age.”

She added: “The secret of youth, is above all to follow a personalised
exercise regime in accordance with your abilities.”

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