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Cycling at the 1908 London Summer Games:

Men's 100 kilometres

Cycling at the 1908 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): White City Stadium, London
Date Started: July 15, 1908
Date Finished: July 18, 1908

Gold: GBR Charles Bartlett
Silver: GBR Charles Denny
Bronze: FRA Octave Lapize

Summary

The 100 kilometre race was considered the "major" championship of the 1908 Olympic cycling program, and the Prince of Wales donated a cup to be presented to the winner. Leon Meredith was the heavy favorite. He would be World Champion seven times in the 100 kilometre motor-paced event - 1904-05, 1907-09, 1911, and 1913.

A potentially disastrous accident occurred in heat two of this event. At the beginning of the sprint, Mr. Harry Venn, a judge in the walking contests, wandered onto the track and Guillaume Coeckelberg (BEL) collided with him. Coeckelberg was thrown from his bike, and struck his head on the concrete curb of the track. Fortunately, neither was severely injured and Coeckelberg was able to remount and finish the race and qualify for the final as a result of having led the race for a sufficient number of laps.

The track was wet from rains at the start of the final of this event and intermittent rain saturated the riders for most of the race, which was marred by multiple punctures and accidents. At 13 miles, Meredith was involved in a crash with Walter Andrews and D. C. Robertson. He remounted but was off the back and could never rejoin the leading group. Meredith was lapped at 62 laps, and he dismounted within the next mile. The half-way mark (50 km.) was covered in 1-16:47.2, with Sydney Bailey (GBR) leading.

At 70 kilometres (115 laps) the leading pack numbered seven, including Charles Bartlett. But Bartlett punctured, only to be paced back to the pack in eight laps by the Canadian, Harry Young. The final lap came down to a pack of four - Bartlett, Charles Denny, Octave Lapize, and Billy Pett. With three British riders, Lapize stood little chance, and the Brits paced the quick sprinting Bartlett, leading him out for the final sprint, which he won by about one wheel to earn the Prince of Wales Cup. Bartlett had no other major international titles but won the NCU 50-mile tandem-paced championship in 1908 and 1909. His time in winning this race was a world record, bettering the mark of 2-49:00.8 set by Capelle in Dijon, France on 20 October 1898.

Although Octave Lapize "only" earned the bronze medal, in 1910 he became the first former Olympic rider to win the Tour de France. He also remains the only rider to win Paris-Roubaix in three consecutive years - 1909-11. His other major professional titles included Paris-Brussels in 1911-13 and Paris-Tours in 1911. Lapize was killed in a dogfight during World War I.

Paul Texier (FRA) [38 laps], Lapize [31 laps], and Denny [23 laps], received Diplomas of Merit for leading the greatest number of laps. Bartlett led for only 16 laps.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Charles Bartlett 23 Great Britain GBR Gold WR
2 Charles Denny Great Britain GBR Silver
3 Octave Lapize 20 France FRA Bronze
4 Billy Pett 34 Great Britain GBR
5 Paul Texier France FRA
6 Walt Andrews 27 Canada CAN
7 David Robertson Great Britain GBR
8 Sydney Bailey Great Britain GBR
AC r2/2 Andrew Hansson 25 Sweden SWE DNF
AC r2/2 Georges Lutz 23 France FRA DNF
AC r2/2 François Bonnet France FRA DNF
AC r2/2 J. H. Bishop Great Britain GBR DNF
AC r2/2 Harry Mussen 34 Great Britain GBR DNF
AC r2/2 Leon Meredith 26 Great Britain GBR DNF
AC r2/2 Gustaf Westerberg 24 Sweden SWE DNF
AC r2/2 Guillaume Coeckelberg Belgium BEL DNF
AC r2/2 Harry Young Canada CAN DNF
AC h1 r1/2 Will Anderson Canada CAN
AC h1 r1/2 André Lepère 29 France FRA
AC h1 r1/2 Alwin Boldt 24 Germany GER
AC h1 r1/2 Georgius Damen 20 Netherlands NED
AC h1 r1/2 Gerard Bosch van Drakestein 20 Netherlands NED
AC h1 r1/2 J. Norman Great Britain GBR
AC h1 r1/2 Ioannis Santorinaios Greece GRE DNF
AC h1 r1/2 Fred McCarthy 26 Canada CAN DNF
AC h1 r1/2 Richard Katzer Germany GER DNF
AC h2 r1/2 William Morton 27 Canada CAN DNF
AC h2 r1/2 Pierre Hostein France FRA DNF
AC h2 r1/2 Hermann Martens 31 Germany GER DNF
AC h2 r1/2 Bruno Götze 25 Germany GER DNF
AC h2 r1/2 Paul Schulze 25 Germany GER DNF
AC h2 r1/2 Max Triebsch 22 Germany GER DNF
AC h2 r1/2 Dorus Nijland 28 Netherlands NED DNF
AC h2 r1/2 Guglielmo Malatesta 16 Italy ITA DNF
AC h2 r1/2 Battista Parini Italy ITA DNF
AC h2 r1/2 Cesare Zanzottera 21 Italy ITA DNF
AC h2 r1/2 Harry Passmore 23 South Africa RSA DNF
AC h2 r1/2 Henri Cunault France FRA DNF
AC h2 r1/2 Charles Avrillon France FRA DNF
AC h2 r1/2 Jean Madelaine France FRA DNF
AC h2 r1/2 Robert Jolly Great Britain GBR DNF
AC h2 r1/2 David Noon Great Britain GBR DNF
AC h2 r1/2 Louis Weintz 23 United States USA DNF