Robert Marchand on his exercise bike at the age of 108
|Birth:||26 November 1911|
Amiens, Hauts-de-France, France
|Death:||22 May 2021|
Mitry-Mory, Ile-de-France, France
|Age:||109 years, 177 days|
Robert Marchand (26 November 1911 – 22 May 2021) was a French cyclist and centenarian, known for practicing his sport and setting various age records for age categories over 100 years.
Robert Marchand married in 1939 and has been a widower since 1943. He lived in Mitry-Mory in Seine-et-Marne.
Marchand was born in Amiens, near the frontline of the First World War.
Marchand was a firefighter in Paris in the 1930s. He was a prisoner-of-war during World War II. He then moved to Venezuela, where he was a lorry driver and sugarcane planter. In the 1950s he went to Canada, where he had a job as a lumberjack. He returned to France in 1960 and worked as a gardener and wine dealer until 1987.
He took an active part during the strikes of 1936 in France that gave birth to the modern era foundations of French employment legislation.
He is a member of the French Communist Party and the CGT Trade Union, the longest-serving member still living, with 90 years of membership.
Aged 35 he finished seventh in the Grand Prix des Nations in 1946. He returned to cycling in 1978 and continued training after his 100th birthday. In February 2012, he set a world record in one-hour track cycling in the over-100 age group at 24.250 kilometres (15.068 mi). He improved this record to 26.927 kilometres (16.732 mi) in January 2014.
On 4 January 2017, he set a world record in one-hour track cycling in the over-105 age group, covering 22.547 kilometres (14.010 mi) in one hour, and the 105 years old centenarian declared: "I could have done better, if I had seen the 10-minute warning card, otherwise I would have pedalled slightly faster".
At the age of 105 he was recognised as the world's oldest competitive cyclist by Guinness World Records.
Marchand puts his remarkable fitness and longevity down to a diet consisting of: lots of fruit and vegetables, a little meat, not too much coffee – and an hour a day on the cycling home-trainer.
After he turned 106 Marchand’s doctors advised him to stop competing for world records. He obliged, but refused to quit racing completely. In early February 2018 Marchand completed a 4,000-meter race in the same stadium where he made his last record.
Marchand celebrated his 107th birthday by going for a 20-kilometre bike ride in the Ardeche.
After his 108th birthday Marchand stopped riding bikes outdoors due to hearing loss.
Marchand died in Mitry-Mory, Ile-de-France, France on 22 May 2021 at the age of 109 years, 177 days. At time of his death, he was the fourth-oldest known living man in France, after Jules Theobald, Marcel Meys and Andre Boite, and the last known French man born in 1911.
- Robert Marchand sets new 100-kilometer speed record Agence France Presse (dead link), 28 September 2012
- A 102 ans, Robert a l'énergie d'un homme de 45! Le Parisien, 25 October 2013
- 102-Year-Old Cyclist Robert Marchand Sets World Record TIME, 31 January 2014
- 102-year-old French cyclist breaks world record Sportsnet.ca, 31 January 2014
- Oldest competitive cyclist Guinness World Records, 4 January 2017
- A 105 ans, Robert Marchand établit un record mondial de l'heure à vélo en parcourant 22,547 kilomètres Francetvinfo, 4 January 2017
- French cyclist Robert Marchand sets new record at 105 YEARS OLD Daily Express, 5 January 2017
- Robert Marchand, 105, recognised as the world’s oldest competitive cyclist Cyclist, 4 May 2017
- At 106, champion cyclist Robert Marchand refuses to stop pedaling USA Today, 27 February 2018
- Robert Marchand d'un siècle à l'autre à vélo Corse Matin, 26 March 2018
- Robert Marchand celebrates 107th birthday – with 20km spin Road, 28 November 2018
- Robert Marchand, cycliste mascotte de l'Ardéchoise, fête ses 108 ans France Bleu, 26 November 2019
- Robert Marchand, le cycliste mascotte de l'Ardéchoise, fête ses 109 ans en Ehpad France Bleu, 26 November 2020
- Record-breaking French centenarian cyclist dies aged 109 Reuters, 22 May 2021