LYON - A French centenarian on Friday set a record for the fastest 100-year-old to cycle 100 kilometres (62 miles) and said he had outdone himself.

Robert Marchand, an amateur cyclist who claims to have clocked tens of thousands of kilometres in the saddle, finished the distance in 4 hours, 17 minutes and 27 seconds.

“I did a little better than I hoped,” he said. “However the going was tough in the last few kilometres.”

Marchand, who has lived in Canada and Venezuela and whose professional life has included stints as a market gardener, shoe salesman and wine dealer, said he only took to cycling when he bought his first bike in 1978.

His bid for the centenarian record was certified by the French national cycling federation.