Shortly after 102 year old Frenchman Robert Marchand broke his own hour record, he received a contract offer from WorldTour squad Cofidis.
The diminutive Marchard stunned cycling fans around the world with his latest record-braking ride on the track at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and now Cofidis has hired him as a performance coach.
“It is no secret that our riders have not impressed in the last few seasons,” said Cyrille Bonnerire, a director sportif for Codifis. “They need inspiration and motivation to ride faster every year and Marchand is the ultimate proof that it can be done. He is faster at 102 than he was at 100.”
For his part, Marchand is looking forward to taking up his new role. “I can give them the benefit of my experience as I am at least 70 years older. So when I say something is true, they will believe me,”said Marchand. “I want to see a Frenchman win the Tour de France before I die so I must work quickly.”
While Marchand’s exact duties have yet to be spelled out, Bonnerire has big plans for the 102 year old coach. “I see him a bit like Tim Kerrison at Sky. Marchand will the the mastermind, setting the overall fitness objectives and brining a more thoughtful approach to the training.”
The French media was effusive in its praise of Marchand after he once again broke the Hour record for his age group. “Sensational, phenomenal, incredible, immortal,” claimed Le Figaro.
Perhaps Cofidis is hoping that with Marchand’s expertise, the media will be saying the say things about their riders.