Cycling at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's individual road race

The men's road race was the only road cycling event on the Cycling at the 1896 Summer Olympics programme. The course was 87 kilometres long and the race was held on 12 April. Seven cyclists from three nations competed.[1] The event was won by Aristidis Konstantinidis of Greece. August von Gödrich of Germany took second, while Edward Battell finished third.

Men's road race
at the Games of the I Olympiad
AristidisKonstantinidis.jpg
Aristidis Konstantinidis
VenueAthensMarathon
DateApril 12
Competitors7 from 3 nations
Medalists
1st place, gold medalist(s) Aristidis Konstantinidis
 Greece
2nd place, silver medalist(s) August von Gödrich
 Germany
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Edward Battell
 Great Britain
1936 →

BackgroundEdit

This was the first appearance of the event, which would not be held again until 1936 (though has been held at every Summer Olympics since then). It was an event of particular interest to the Greek hosts, as it followed the course of the marathon won by Spyridon Louis. Seven cyclists entered the event, including the German August von Gödrich, the British Edward Battell, and five Greeks. Battell, who worked at the British Embassy, almost did not get to compete; "[s]ome British officials attempted to prevent him from entering the Olympic cycling events on the grounds that his job disqualified him as a gentleman, and thus he could not be an amateur."[1][2]

Competition formatEdit

The race was on a course that covered 87 kilometres, running from Athens to Marathon and back. At the turn-around point, the cyclists had to "sign a document in the presence of an official, verifying that they had arrived there." The finish was at the velodrome. Officials were stationed all along the road.[1][2][3]

ScheduleEdit

Date Time Round
Gregorian Julian
Sunday, 12 April 1896 Sunday, 31 March 1896 12:00 Final

ResultsEdit

Konstantinidis led from the start until after the turn at Marathon. His bicycle broke down on the return journey, allowing Battel time to pass him before he was able to get another bicycle and continue.[3] Both Konstantinidis and Battel fell again before finishing, with Battel's fall being severe enough to drop him from first place to third as both Konstantinidis and Gödrich passed him.

Rank Cyclist Nation Time
  Aristidis Konstantinidis   Greece 3:22:31
  August von Gödrich   Germany 3:42:18
  Edward Battell   Great Britain Unknown
4–7 Georgios Aspiotis   Greece Unknown
Miltiades Iatrou   Greece Unknown
Konstantinos Konstantinou   Greece Unknown
Georgios Paraskevopoulos   Greece Unknown

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Road Race, Individual, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  2. ^ a b Official Report, p. 100.
  3. ^ a b Wallechinsky, David (1984). The Complete Book of the Olympics. England: Penguin Books. p. 200. ISBN 0140066322.