January 10, 2018 / 2:47 PM / 2 months ago

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.

FILE PHOTO: French cyclist Robert Marchand, aged 105, rides on his way to cover 22.528 km (14.08 miles) in one hour to set a new record at the indoor Velodrome National in Montigny-les-Bretonneux, southwest of Paris, France, January 4, 2017. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen/File Photo

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.

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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 neighbour and friend.

Reporting By Brian Love Editing by Jeremy Gaunt

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