Paris: Professional cycling has a reputation for premature deaths, either from tragic crashes on the road or from dangerous performance-boosting substances.But a new study, based on French participants in the Tour de France, says that male pro cyclists are likelier to live longer than their counterparts in the general public -- a whopping 6.3 years more, on average.A team led by Eloi Marijon of the Paris Cardiovascular Centre measured the longevity of all French cyclists -- 786 in all -- who finished at least once in the Tour since 1947, and compared this against the lifespan of average Frenchmen.As of September 1 2012, 208 out of the 786 cyclists had died.Mortality rates among this group were 41 percent lower than in the general population, they found.
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