Longest distance cycled in one hour: Robert Marchand sets world record (Video)
AIGLE, Switzerland--French cycling enthusiast Robert Marchand rode 24.25 km (15.1 miles) in 60 minutes watched by crowds of cheering supporters at the International Cycling Union (UCI) velodrome in Aigle, Switzerland - setting the new world record for the Longest distance cycled in one hour on a bicycle in the over 100- year old category, according to World Record Academy: www.worldrecordacademy.com/.
Photo: France's Robert Marchand celebrates after setting a world record for cycling non-stop for one hour, in the over 100- year old category, at the Union Cycliste Internationale velodrome in Aigle, Switzerland. Photo: Reuters/Denis Balibouse (enlarge photo)
The Guinness world record for the most people static cycling is 1,052 and was achieved at the "Ride of a Lifetime" event organised by Life Time Fitness (USA) at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the greatest distance cycled solo and unpaced in 12 hours: 475.26 km (295.31 mi), set by by Marko Baloh (Slovenia) at the Montichiari Velodrome in Brescia, Italy. He completed 1,901 full laps of the 250 m (820 ft 2.5 in) course in the 12 hours.
Marchand kept a steady pace and was hardly out of breath when he finished, telling his fans: "I could have gone faster, I didn't want to.
"I could have done a kilometre more."
"I'm not playing at being a champion," he said. "I just wanted to do something for my 100th birthday."
The UCI had already said it would recognise the record, meaning that Marchand had to undergo a doping test after completing the event.
An amateur road racer, Marchand competed in the Bordeaux-Paris race at the age of 90 when he completed the 600 kms in 36 hours. In the last few years, he has eased off, restricting himself to rides of less than 100 kilometres in a day.
Doctors assessed Marchand before he hit the velodrome and were on hand at the trackside in case he got into difficulties.
Jacques Beaune, former president of the French Federation of Cardiology, put down his great shape to good genes and a healthy lifestyle. "He's never been ill in his life," he said.
The feat does not threaten the 49.7 km (30.8 miles) achieved by Czech cyclist Ondrej Sosenka in 2005 at the age of 29, but it will be recognised by the UCI in a new over-100s category.
Hour-record attempts are made in a velodrome, frequently at high altitude for the aerodynamic benefit of thinner air.
The hour record is usually attempted by road cyclists towards the end of their career
Marchand, who marked a century in November, enjoyed cycling as a teenager but only returned to the sport at the age of 78.
He is a keen member of his local cycle club in Ardeche, south-central France, which helped co-ordinate the record attempt.
"Doing a little bit of sport every day, that's the secret," said the president of the L'Ardechoise club Gerard Mistler, who described Marchand as a role model.
"He's someone who has always enjoyed working, who is always in good humour, and who has always been sporty." "He has never smoked and sometimes drinks alcohol but nothing to excess."
Marchand has led a colourful life, spending several years in Venezuela and working for a time as a lumberjack in Canada. But he claims he's nothing out of the ordinary.
"I'm not exceptional," he said. "I'm just normal."