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Cycling at the 1896 Athina Summer Games:

Men's 12-Hours Race

Cycling at the 1896 Summer Games:


Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Neo Faliro Velodrome, Peiraias
Date Started: April 13, 1896
Date Finished: April 13, 1896

Gold: AUT Adolf Schmal
Silver: GBR Frederick Keeping


The race was a mass start which began at 7:20 AM (0720). Pacemakers were allowed. The weather was noted to be the worst of the Olympics, with cold, wind, and rain. Snow was noted on the mountains outside of Athens. Rowing events, which were scheduled for this day, had to be cancelled. This was the last event held at the Games of the Ist Olympiad.

Early in the race, [Adolf Schmal], who was better known as a fencer, jumped the field and gained a lap early, lapping the Greeks at 5 laps, the German at 7 laps, and [Frederick Keeping] at 10 laps. He then rode with the pack until one by one the riders dropped out. At 1200, the two remaining riders, Schmal and Keeping, took a 10 minute break. Schmal rode directly behind Keeping’s wheel throughout, never allowing himself to be dropped, and won by the one lap that he had gained early in the race. Keeping made occasional bursts to regain the lost lap, but to no avail. On the last lap, Schmal opened a small gap over Keeping, in addition to the extra lap gained.

View a Phase of this EventFinal Standings

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal D M
1 Adolf Schmal 23 Austria AUT Gold 295.300 km.
2 Frederick Keeping 28 Great Britain GBR Silver at 354 metres
AC Georgios Paraskevopoulos Greece GRE DNF
AC Joseph Welzenbacher Germany GER DNF
AC A. Tryfiatis-Trypiapis Greece GRE DNF
AC Loverdos Greece GRE DNF
AC Konstantinos Konstantinou Greece GRE DNF