You’re never too old to get in shape, and this centenarian cyclist is living, breathing proof.
As humans age, they lose both muscle and aerobic capacity, but you’d ever know by watching Frenchman Robert Marchand, who broke the record for the fastest time for cyclists over 105, clocking in at 14 mph at the Vélodrome de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines in Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France.
Marchand also holds the record for cyclist aged over 100, the BBC reported.
But before the race began, Marchand admitted that breaking his previous record would be difficult, saying that he was “not in such good shape.”
— Clhebdo (@clhebdo5) January 7, 2017
Marchand was born on Nov. 26, 1911 and credits his health to his diet, which consists of lots of fruits and vegetables, some meat, and not too much coffee. He also spends an hour per day on a cycling machine at home.
He was a prisoner of war in World War II and went on to work in Venezuela as a sugarcane planter and then in Canada as a lumberjack. He also worked as a gardener and wine dealer.
Marchand’s athletic prowess extends beyond the bike as well. He competed in gymnastics at the national level and boxed in his younger years.
But, Marchand is a lifelong cyclist. He was practicing regularly from age 15 to 25 but stopped after a coach told him to give up the sport. He didn’t pick it back up until his 60s, according to Business Insider.
Hundreds of spectators cheered him on from the sidelines. Despite his success, Marchand remains humble. After the race was over, he said he “could have done better,” but missed a sign that showed there was 10 minutes to go in the race.
“I am not here to be [a] champion,” he said. “I am here to prove that at 105 years old you can still ride a bike.”
Marchand is “now waiting for a rival,” he said, according to The Associated Press.
Recently, the cycling community raised more than $6,000 to buy Marchand a pair of hearing aids.
— road.cc (@roadcc) January 15, 2017