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French Man Sets Cycling Record at Age 105

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Robert Marchand set a record in the 105-year-old category for his one-hour ride.
Robert Marchand set a record in the 105-year-old category for his one-hour ride.

This is What’s Trending Today.

World records can be set even if you are over 100 years old.

Robert Marchand was born in 1911 in northern France. He enjoys riding a bicycle, and started cycling seriously when he was in his 60s.

Marchand is now 105 years old.

On Wednesday, a crowd gathered at the Velodrome National, about 30 kilometers outside of Paris. They were there to see how far he could travel in one hour.

The record for one hour is held by Britain’s Bradley Wiggins, a former Tour de France winner. Wiggins covered 54.5 kilometers in 2015.

Evelyn Stevens of the United States holds the women’s record. She went almost 48 kilometers in an hour last year.

In 2012, Marchand set a record for riders over 100 years old when he traveled almost 27 kilometers in an hour. So the question many people asked this week was: “Could he break his own record?”

Marchand set off on his record attempt as sports lovers cheered and photographers watched. He moved slowly, but steadily, around the cycling track.

Marchand is relatively small. He is only 1.52 meters tall and weighs 52 kilograms.

Robert Marchand during his one-hour ride.
Robert Marchand during his one-hour ride.

When the hour ended, he completed 92 times around the track. That is just over 22.5 kilometers.

After the event, Marchand said he could have done better. He did not see his trainers telling him he only had 10 minutes remaining.

“I would have gone faster. I would have posted a better time,” he said.

But the news was still good, as he did set a new record for riders 105-years-old or older.

“I’m now waiting for a rival,” he said.

And that’s What’s Trending Today.

I’m Jill Robbins.

Dan Friedell wrote this story for Learning English based on news service reports. George Grow was the editor.

How far could you ride a bicycle in one hour? Let us know in the comments section.

Words in This Story

rival – n. a competitor; a person or thing that tries to defeat or be more successful than another

steadily – adv. keeping up a firm pace

track – n. an often circular path or road that is used for racing

bicycle – n. a 2-wheeled vehicle that a person rides by pushing on foot pedals

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