Impressed? - It doesn't seem remarkable - until you realise that Marchand is 100 years old. His feat, over 300 laps of a velodrome in Lyons, southeast France, gave him the distance record for a centenarian: 100 over 100 - you must admit it has a certain ring to it.
|Robert Marchland in action|
Might his velodrome performance have been enhanced by something else then? "The only doping for me is water with a spoonful of honey - that's it"
But surely, advancing years have somewhat curtailed his vigour? - Does he think about easing up a little? Five years ago at 95 Marchand decided to limit his rides to a mere 100km - "There's no point in going overboard" he said "Iwant to keep cycling for some time yet"
Now let's not pretend that we shall all be matching Monsieur Marchand's performance when we hit 100. At that age I suspect most of us will be cruising around that great velodrome in the sky - but there are lessons for all of us. Regular cycling is excellent for maintaining good health. One large-scale study has found that people who cycled at least 20 miles per week were roughly half as likely to suffer from heart disease as those who didn't - and the finding was independent of other factors such as obesity, high blood pressure etc - in very crude terms someone who cycles regularly is likely to have the cardiovascular fitness of a non-cyclist who is 10 years younger.
So, take Robert Marchand as your inspiration and keep pedalling!