Cycling at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 100 kilometres

The men's 100 kilometres was one of five track cycling events on the Cycling at the 1896 Summer Olympics programme. It was the first race held, on 8 April. It required cyclists to complete 300 circuits of the track.[1] Nine cyclists from five nations competed.[2] The event was won by Léon Flameng of France, with Georgios Kolettis of Greece coming in second.

Men's 100 kilometres
at the Games of the I Olympiad
Radrennen OS 1896.jpg
Start of the race
VenueNeo Phaliron Velodrome
DateApril 8
Competitors9 from 5 nations
Winning time3:08:19.2
Medalists
1st place, gold medalist(s) Léon Flameng
 France
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Georgios Kolettis
 Greece
1908 →

BackgroundEdit

From 1896 to 1924 (excluding 1912, when no track events were held), the track cycling programme included events at a variety of distances that changed from Games to Games and ranged from the 14-mile to the 100 kilometres (and, even longer, the unique 12 hours race in 1896 that saw finishers exceed 300 kilometres). The 100 kilometres was held twice: in 1896 and again in 1908. As with many of the 1896 cycling races, the French team was clearly favored as the strongest cyclists present. However, one of the two Frenchmen (Paul Masson) did not start the race and instead served as pacemaker for the other (Léon Flameng).[2]

Competition formatEdit

As the name suggests, the race was 100 kilometres in length. The track was one-third of a kilometre in length, so the cyclists had to complete 300 laps. Pacemakers were allowed in the event, though only Flameng and the Greeks had pacemakers. The nine cyclists started together in a mass start.[2][3]

ScheduleEdit

The exact time of the event is not known. The day was very cold with a bitter wind that was not significantly affected by the low walls around the velodrome.[2][3]

Date Time Round
Gregorian Julian
Wednesday, 8 April 1896 Wednesday, 27 March 1896 Final

ResultsEdit

Nine cyclists started the race, but only two finished it. During the race Georgios Kolettis's bike broke down. Léon Flameng stopped and waited for Georgio's bike to be repaired before continuing to race.[1] Flameng had fallen midway through the race but continued on to win the gold medal. Kolettis of Greece had completed 289 laps at that point, and finished fairly soon after Flameng. While competing, Flameng raced with the French flag wrapped about his leg.[2][3]

Rank Cyclist Nation Time
  Léon Flameng   France 3:08:19.2
  Georgios Kolettis   Greece Unknown (11 laps behind)
Bernhard Knubel   Germany DNF (41 km)
Theodor Leupold   Germany DNF (37 km)
Edward Battell   Great Britain DNF (17 km)
Aristidis Konstantinidis   Greece DNF (16 km)
Joseph Rosemeyer   Germany DNF
Adolf Schmal   Austria DNF
Joseph Welzenbacher   Germany DNF
Georgios Aspiotis   Greece DNS
Paul Masson   France DNS

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Wallechinsky, David (1984). The Complete Book of the Olympics. England: Penguin Books. p. 212. ISBN 0140066322.
  2. ^ a b c d e "100 kilometres, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Official Report, p. 74.