Frenchman, 100, sets record for one hour cycle

AIGLE, Switzerland Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:48am EST

Cyclist Robert Marchand of France celebrates after setting a world record for cycling non-stop for one hour, in the over 100- year old category, at the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) velodrome in Aigle February 17, 2012. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Cyclist Robert Marchand of France celebrates after setting a world record for cycling non-stop for one hour, in the over 100- year old category, at the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) velodrome in Aigle February 17, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Denis Balibouse

AIGLE, Switzerland (Reuters) - Frenchman Robert Marchand entered the cycling record books in the one-hour event on Friday, three months after celebrating his 100th birthday.

Marchand rode 24.251 kilometres around an indoor track to establish the first-ever hour performance in the 100-years-plus category.

"I could have gone faster but I didn't want to," Marchand, who was given clearance by his cardiologist in France before making the attempt, told reporters at the International Cycling Union UCI.L track in Aigle where he spent a week preparing.

"I'm not playing at being a champion," he said. "I just wanted to do something for my 100th birthday."

The UCI had already said it would recognise the record, meaning that Marchand had to undergo a doping test after completing the event.

An amateur road racer, Marchand competed in the Bordeaux-Paris race at the age of 90 when he completed the 600 kms in 36 hours.

In the last few years, he has eased off, restricting himself to rides of less than 100 kilometres in a day.

Marchand said his biggest challenge was getting used to riding on a track, something he last did in 1937.

(Reporting by Brian Homewood, Editing by Clare Fallon; To comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)