French cyclist retires from competition at age 106
By Hu Shichen
French cyclist Robert Marchand is retiring at the age of 106, a friend of the bike-mad centenarian announced on Wednesday.
The decision to quit comes a year after the tenacious sportsman set what was widely billed as a world record for the over-105s category after he completed 22.528 km (14.08 miles) in one hour.
The feat, at an indoor track near Paris, drew intense media coverage and a moment of international celebrity for Marchand, an amateur who has been in the saddle for well over 90 years.
106-year-old French cyclist Robert Marchand. /VCG Photo

106-year-old French cyclist Robert Marchand. /VCG Photo

The former fireman is no stranger to breaking records. Soon after his 100th birthday, he became the fastest cyclist of his age to cover 100 km (62 miles). At 102, he peddled almost 27 kilometers in one hour.
Born in 1911 in northern France, Marchand started riding a bike when he was 14 but only took up cycling seriously when he was 67.
His retirement, at not far off twice the average retirement age in France and three or four times the age at which top-notch athletes usually bow out, was announced to AFP news agency by a neighbor and friend.