Ottawa man cycles to top of Road Worlds for Seniors

An 86-year-old Ottawa man has taken top spot in a global cycling championship for seniors. 

Norman Côté, who lives at Bruyère Village in Orléans, cycled 8,346.7 km on a stationary bike during the month of September making him the male champion at the Road Worlds for Seniors. 

"I don't feel any different, I'm always number one!" Côté said, laughing. "It's always a challenge so if I feel I'm up to it I'm jumping in."

Jeannine Benoit, also from Bruyère Village was the top Canadian woman. 

"I liked so much pedalling every week more and more and sometimes at night," she said.

More than 5,000 people from around the world took part in this year's competition—its largest yet. The goal of the event hosted by Motitech is to get older people and those with dementia motivated and engaged in physical activity. 

"Here we are in our fifth year and it's bigger than ever with over 5,000 participants, 260 teams from 11 different countries," said Dan McEwen, Motitech's director of market development. "It's growing every year so it's amazing to have the number one team Bruyère Village from Canada this year."

Côté is part of a group of 30 cyclists from Bruyère Village who took part. The team collectively cycled the longest distance in the competition at 15,332.1 km and took home the "World Champions Team" title.

"They always want to better their score from the previous year so they challenge themselves to do better," said Denise Rousseau-Pistilli, executive director of Bruyère Village. "For them it's making new friends, meeting their neighbours and they're coming down in the middle of the night and they're pedalling in the middle of the night, they're so dedicated to the cause and if we had double the bikes I'm sure our kilometres would've been even more."

Medals and certificates were handed out to participants on Thursday. 

As for the best part—Côté says, "I for sure like the wine and cheese."