SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France, Jan. 4—At 105 years old, Robert Marchand is living proof that it’s never too late to reach new heights.
The French cyclist clinched a world record on Jan. 4 at the Velodrome National, located just west of Paris. Managing a little over 14 mph, he took the top spot for the furthest distance cycled in one hour in a new category—riders 105 and over.
But Mr. Marchand is no stranger to breaking ground; in 2012, he set a record for those aged 100 and over when he rode 15 mph, only to surpass that record at 16.73 mph in 2014.
Born on Nov. 26, 1911, Mr. Marchand has had a dynamic life as a former national gymnast, boxer, firefighter, truck driver, sugarcane planter, lumberjack and even a prisoner of World War II.
So what’s his secret to longevity? He says it comes down to daily stretches and pedaling, no smoking and healthy eating, which include abundant fruit and vegetables.
Mr. Marchand said that through the competition, he wanted to demonstrate his potential as a centenarian. “I’m not here to break any record,” he told Cycling Weekly. “I’m doing it to prove that at 105 years old, you can still ride a bike.”