French cycling hero retires: at 106


PARIS (Reuters) – French cyclist Robert Marchand is retiring at the age of 106, a friend of the bike-mad centenarian has announced.

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: 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.

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.

Reporting By Brian Love Editing by Jeremy Gaunt

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