Robert Marchand (cyclist)

Robert Marchand (born 26 November 1911) is a French centenarian cyclist.

Robert Marchand
Robert Marchand (cropped).jpg
Robert Marchand in 2012
Personal information
Born (1911-11-26) 26 November 1911 (age 108)
Amiens, France
ResidenceMitry-Mory, Seine-et-Marne, France[1]
Height1.50 m (4 ft 11 in)[2]

Early lifeEdit

Marchand was born in Amiens, near the frontline of the First World War.[3]

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.[3] 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.[2][4]

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.[5] He returned to cycling in 1978[4] 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.[6][7]

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 year old centenarian declared: "I could have done better, if I had seen the 10-minute warning card, otherwise I would have pedalled slightly faster".[8][9]

At the age of 105 he was recognised as the world's oldest competitive cyclist by Guinness World Records.[10]

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.[3]

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.[11]

Marchand celebrated his 107th birthday by going for a 20-kilometre bike ride in the Ardèche.[12]

After his 108th birthday Marchand stopped riding bikes outdoors due to hearing loss.[13]


  1. ^ Staff (26 March 2018). "Robert Marchand d'un siècle à l'autre à vélo" (in French). Corse-Matin. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b A 102 ans, Robert a l'énergie d'un homme de 45!. Le Parisien. 25 October 2013
  3. ^ a b c Chapman, John (5 January 2017). "French cyclist Robert Marchand sets new record at 105 YEARS OLD". Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  4. ^ a b Robert Marchand sets new 100-kilometer speed record. Agence France Presse. 28 September 2012
  5. ^ Robert Marchand.
  6. ^ Daniel McMahon (31 January 2014) When your age hits the triple digits, it's like riding a bike. Time
  7. ^ 102-year-old French cyclist breaks world record. Associated Press (31 January 2014)
  8. ^ new mondial record at 105 years old 22.547 kilometers in one hour . Franceinfos. 4 January 2017
  9. ^ Robert Marchand 105-year-old sets new Hour Record with 22.547km ride . News Of This Today. ' 4 January 2017
  10. ^ Joseph Delves (4 May 2017). "Robert Marchand, 105, recognised as the world's oldest competitive cyclist". Cyclist. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  11. ^ Rebecca Rosman (27 February 2018). "At 106, champion cyclist Robert Marchand refuses to stop pedaling". USA Today. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  12. ^ Simon MacMichael (29 November 2018). "Robert Marchand celebrates 107th birthday – with 20km spin". Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  13. ^ Nathalie Rodrigues (26 November 2019). "Robert Marchand, cycliste mascotte de l'Ardéchoise, fête ses 108 ans" (in French). France Bleu. Retrieved 24 January 2020.

External linksEdit