Record-breaking French centenarian cyclist dies aged 109

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FILE PHOTO: French cyclist Robert Marchand, aged 106, cycles at the indoor Velodrome National of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines

PARIS (Reuters) - Frenchman Robert Marchand, who won fame late in life by setting world records for centenarian cyclists, has died at the age of 109, a local official said on Saturday.

Marchand died overnight in a retirement home in Mitry-Mory, the mayor of the suburb east of Paris wrote on Facebook.

Marchand, an amateur cyclist who was in the saddle for over 90 years, held the world record for cycling 100 km (62 miles) in the 100–105 and over-105 categories. He also held the world records for the distance cycled in one hour in both categories.

"Rest in peace my friend and thank you for all the dreams you lived!" Mitry-Mory Mayor Charlotte Blandiot-Faride wrote on Facebook.

Asked in 2018 what the secret of his longevity was, he said: "Use everything and abuse nothing."

(Reporting by Patrick Vignal; Writing by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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