Cycling at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 12 hour race
The men's 12 hour race was one of five track cycling events on the Cycling at the 1896 Summer Olympics programme. It was the final event of the 1896 Summer Olympics, ending at 5 p.m. on 13 April. Seven cyclists from four nations started. The event was won by Adolf Schmal of Austria, the only gold medal in cycling ever won by the nation (through the 2016 Games). Schmal lapped silver medalist Frederick Keeping of Great Britain early, winning by that lap as the two were the only riders to finish. The 12 hour race was the last event to finish at the 1896 Games.
|Men's 12 hour race|
at the Games of the I Olympiad
The start of the race
|Venue||Neo Phaliron Velodrome|
|Competitors||7 from 4 nations|
|Winning distance||314.997 km|
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 1⁄4-mile to the 100 kilometres (and, even longer, the unique 12 hours race in 1896 that saw finishers nearly reach 300 kilometres). The 12 hours race was held only in 1896 and was the only time that an Olympic race was based on a set time rather than a fixed distance.
The day was cold, windy, and rainy, with snow on the mountains. The weather was bad enough to cancel the rowing events scheduled for the same day as the race.
|Monday, 13 April 1896||Monday, 1 April 1896||5:00||Final|
The final cycling race began at 5 a.m. on 13 April. Seven athletes began the race, though four of them dropped out before noon and a fifth gave up in the afternoon. Schmal had lapped the rest of the cyclists early in the race and rode along with Keeping for the rest of the contest, winning by that one lap. The 12 hour race was never included again in the cycling program at the Olympic Games.
|Adolf Schmal||Austria||295.300 km|
|Frederick Keeping||Great Britain||294.946 km|
|Nikos Loverdos||Greece||DNF (3 hours)|
|A. Tryfiatis-Tripiaris||Greece||DNF (3 hours)|
|Joseph Welzenbacher||Germany||DNF (3 hours)|
|Konstantinos Konstantinou||Greece||DNF (3 hours)|
- Lampros, S.P.; Polites, N.G.; De Coubertin, Pierre; Philemon, P.J.; Anninos, C. (1897). The Olympic Games: BC 776 – AD 1896. Athens: Charles Beck. (Digitally available at )
- Mallon, Bill; Widlund, Ture (1998). The 1896 Olympic Games. Results for All Competitors in All Events, with Commentary. Jefferson: McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0379-9. (Excerpt available at )
- Smith, Michael Llewellyn (2004). Olympics in Athens 1896. The Invention of the Modern Olympic Games. London: Profile Books. ISBN 1-86197-342-X.