Spokes(Wo)Man

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Fuck it, ride anyway

104-year-old cyclist named world's greatest centenarian athlete - still accused of cheating

Cycling Today has reported on the marvel that is Frenchman Robert Marchand, who holds the world record for his age group in 1-hour track cycling, and who has been named by researchers as the best athlete over 100-years-old.

Researchers at the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France, were investigating how age affects athletic performance in elite sport stars.

They did this by comparing each aged athlete with the current world record holder for the same discipline. Initial research focused on athletes over the age of 40, however the team decided to extend their methodology to determine the world’s best 100-plus sportsperson.

Cycling 26.93 kilometres in one hour, Marchand was 50.6 percent slower than Bradley Wiggins’s 54.53 km record. By comparison, Donald Pellmann, competing in the 100 metre running race for the 100 to 104 age-group in 2015, turned in a time of in 26.99 seconds – a 64.5 percent decrease compared with world record holder Usain Bolt.

Studies have shown that top athletic ability can be maintained until around 35 to 40 years of age, with performance decreasing by about 10 to 15 percent per decade.

But Marchand has declined much more slowly, corresponding to an age-related decline of less than eight percent per decade for more than 60 years.

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Bravo that man, I say !  I'm sure this (like so many other awesome things) is going to be attributed to the French Paradox; their nation-wide low rates of death due to coronary heart disease despite their high intakes of dietary cholesterol and saturated fat. Mmmm, cheese. Red wine. Olive oil. Cheese. Full-fat cream and butter. Often in the same dish. Phroar.

But wait ... a certain "Mike G" - if that is your real name, has come along with his fancy "facts" and "UCI rules" and "legally allowed riding areas".

Feck off ! The man's 104 !

While I applaud ... this story’s photo points out a flaw in his so-called “World Record” rides ... note the white foam rubber sticks placed on the grey safety apron against the lower edge of the Cote d Azur.

UCI rules require these to be placed ON the Cote d Azur, preventing riding below the unpainted track surface.


Marchand rode most if not all of his “Record” ride on the blue band, below the legally allowed riding area of the track.
Measurement of a velodrome is done along the lower unpainted edge, so events that are of a set distance must be done above that line (the blue band) in order to meet the minimum distance...
blah blah blah, I'm bored already.


Unless the track Marchand rode in his ‘record’ attempts was measured and certified at the inner edge of the blue band (outside the cycling governing body rules), and that shorter measurement was used for the distance he rode for an hour, it’s possible the ‘record’ was measured wrong and the distance calculated was higher than it should be.


I can see why they might have placed the rubber sponges that low – the banking is less steep and hopefully less difficult and dangerous for a 100+ year old man to ride on at a speed that isn’t enough to guarantee traction.
That is OK in my opinion to do for his safety, but isn’t a good excuse if the record wasn’t ridden on a course of a certified length.

Doesn't matter. 104. Rode your bike. Cheers !

Happy birthday DC ! You're only halfway there !