Connu for his beautiful silhouette molded in a yellow and purple attire and his contagious hair, the doyen du cyclisme Robert Marchand, died on the night of Friday 21st to Saturday 22nd May, at the age of 109 years, had a graceful mascot to his records of super-centenaire.
Those who did not blame death, only paralysis, and obéi to his motto – «It is necessary to move! » – the longest possible. On November 26, 2018, he celebrated his 107th birthday on a bicycle riding a quintessential kilometer in the Ardèche.
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Born on November 26, 1911 in Amiens, Robert Marchand made a name for himself after a century of existence, becoming the first centenarian to rub on speed bike records.
A sacred revenge for those who have been renounced, at 20 years old, to a career as a professional cyclist on the boards of the sports environment and physicians who maintain their abilities in the midst of their careers.
A series of records
He had refurbished a bicycle that was well-worn by the neighbors.
To establish the record of the hour of more than 100 years then more than 105 years, and obtain the title of champion of the cycling world on the route of more than 105 years. Always under the yellow and purple jersey of L’Ardéchoise, the popular local course that had its mascot.
At each of its exits, the cameras come to immortalize this handsome menu of 1.50 m. Grivois volunteers, he delivers without recognizing the keys of his longevity: “Of sport”, “Lots of fruits and vegetables”, “Not too much coffee”, “No cigarettes”, “Very little alcohol”.
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On January 4, 2017, for its unprecedented record in the 105-year-old category, its notoriety had converged certain television channels to broadcast live its 92 laps at the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines engine.
“If you stop, you are wrong”
Lendemain, during a photo shoot at the AFP’s Paris headquarters, the centenarian is still trying to get his bike on a pole. And repeated his mantra: “In my age, I must never stop. If you stop, you are wrong ».
Sapeur-pompier, planter of sugar cane, seller of wine or maraîcher, Robert Marchand worked until an advanced age. It has also been involved – for a long time, of course – in the French Communist Party and the CGT.
After experiencing the two world conflicts, the Cold War and the years of bourgeoisie in Venezuela or Canada, he spent the last years of his life in a modest studio in Mitry-Mory, north of Paris.
In front of his visitors, he did not hesitate to put on his long-sleeved velvet trousers for cyclists and to wear, foot-and-toe exercises, which were performed at all times.
More celebrity licensed from the Cyclos mitryens club, he trained mainly on his apartment bike to escape the freebies and road traffic – his loss of audition during the exterior exits.
“It would have been a shame that he remained incognito in his Mitry-Mory apartment while he gave a lot of joy to people”, remarked in 2017 the president of L’Ardéchoise, Gérard Mistler.
“It’s a man who has passed the time”, saluted at the beginning of this year Charlotte Blandiot-Faride, the PCF mayor of Mitry-Mory, louant un doyen “Very invested, militant communist, who helped to make the city known”.