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1879 - Islington, London - 1 to 6 September

Press Cuttings from 19th Century Newspapers

FormatSixDay108THE SIX DAYS’ CHAMPIONSHIP RACE
Aberdeen Weekly Journal (Scotland) Wednesday, 3-Sep-1879

“Yesterday was the second day of the great race for the long distance bicycle championship of the world at the Agricultural Hall, London. By this time the race has assumed an importance far in advance of anything previously known in the bicycle world, for not only has Waller, the champion, beaten his previous record by over four hours, but Terront, the second man, is in front of Waller’s previous distance. The feature of yesterday’s riding was the disappearance of Andrews from the front rank. He was unfortunate enough to have an attack of diarrhoea early in the morning, and though he made several plucky attempts to ride, his strength failed him, and he has now no chance whatever. The same remark applies to Leeming, who is only 316 miles. Thresher is not much better, being 330 miles, or 150 odd miles behind Waller. Cann has ridden well and so has Pagis, but the issue is confined to the three leaders, Higham, Terront, and Waller. Of these Higham has not been doing so well as on Monday, while Terront has been in wonderful form and displaying speed which a year or two ago would have assured him the championship. Now, however, he has to deal with the best rider at long distances England has yet produced. Waller combines speed and endurance in a really wonderful manner, and the style in which, with little or no effort, he yesterday raced away from his opponents was really surprising. No doubt if he retain his health to the end all records wil be left far behind. About seven last evening he had covered a distance of 457 miles 2 laps, equal to his total for the first two days of the April race, and how far he and Terront are in front of the record will be seen by the accompanying table of latest scores:-”

 

Miles

Laps

|

 

Miles

Laps

Waller

484

2

|

Pagis

370

12

Terront

470

7

|

Thresher

330

6

Higham

440

0

|

Leeming

316

12

Cann

402

0

|

Andrews (resting)

266

0

THE SIX DAYS’ BICYCLING CHAMPIONSHIP
Daily News (London, England) Friday, 5-Sep-1879

“Yesterday morning, at six o'clock, the fifty-fifth hour of this competition was commenced at the Agricultural Hall, Islington, the magnificent performance of Waller and Terront on the three previous days being simply astonishing. The riding throughout been exceedingly good, every inch of ground being stubbornly contested by the French and English champions and it is even now doubtful whether Waller can shake off the plucky little visitor from the other side of the Channel. During the previous evening a most exciting scene occurred in the hall. Waller and the Frenchman had not once left their saddles throughout the whole of the day, but when each had covered about 150 miles from the time of commencing in the morning, Terront was forced to dismount, the applause he was greeted with being tremendous. The partisans of the Englishman now began to grow excited, as Waller dashed along at great speed, and soon added another mile to his already long lead, when he also sought retirement. This was a fine opportunity for the Frenchman, and he immediately ran on to the track, mounted his machine, and rattled madly round the course. There being a large number of Frenchmen present, they cheered the plucky Terront on, and lap after lap was wiped off Waller’s lead, until he not only got the mile back, but put on half a mile extra. The excitement was at fever heat when Waller appeared, after an absence of about seven minutes, and an exciting struggle took place between them for some distance, until Waller eased up, and the Frenchman, amidst great applause, rode up to his heels. Things progressed very satisfactorily until just before nine o'clock, when Higham fell, and Terront came down on the top of him. Neither, however, were hurt, and, with the exception of a few spurts, nothing occurred worthy of note, and the score at the close of the day's work was - Waller, 744 miles 3 laps; Terront, 730 miles 8 laps; Higham, 670 miles 7 laps; Cann, 606 miles 3/4 lap; Pagis, 540 miles 3/4 lap; Thrasher, 510 miles; Leeming. 454 miles 3/4 lap. Yesterday morning, Higham, Waller, and Pagis were first sent on their journey, Cann appearing seven minutes afterwards, Terront not coming on the track until 6h. 9min. 45sec. The Frenchman appeared very much vexed at being late, as the champion Waller had during his absence put on no less than two miles and a half. He however soon set to work, and led Waller along smartly, which enabled the latter to score his 750th mile at 6 hours 24min. 10sec. Terront accomplishing the same distance at 7 hours 40 min. 65 sac. Seven hundred miles were hoisted to Higham's name at 8 hours 19 min. 12 sec., and Cann ran to his 650th mile at 9 hours 55 min. 20 sec. The last-named looks wonderfully well, which does credit to his trainer,  “Brummy" Meadows. The pace continued to be good, and at 10 hours 16 min. 26 sec. eight “centuries" were recorded in favour of the Newcastle man, Tenant's 800th mile being recorded at 11 hours 33 min. 28 sec. During the day Terront, instead, as heretofore, of keeping close in the wake of the Newcastle man, took upon himself the duties of pioneer, and cut out the work at a sharp pace, to which the others responded, this enabling the Oldham representative, Higham, to arrive at his 750th mile, at 12 hours 57min. 49sec. He then retired for 34 min. 19sec. At one o'clock, Cann, who had been riding exceedingly well, accomplished 684 miles, and two minutes later he also retired for 37 min. 10sec. His previous rests during the morning being 21 min. 50sec. and 29min. 45sec. respectively. The next item of interest was the raising of Waller’s score to 850, this event taking place at 2 hours 6 min. 55sec. Ten minutes after this the hero of the Paris to Vienna ride increased his score to 630 miles, when he retired for a rest of nearly eleven minutes, and at 2 hours 49 min. 30 sec., the Sheffield man's name was placed to the total of 700 miles on the scoring books. Just as the hands of the chronometers pointed to the hour of three, or sixty-three hours from the start, the position of the five leading men were: Waller, 862 miles 4 laps; Terront 846 miles 6 laps; Higham, 770 miles; Cann, 763 miles 3 laps; and Pagis, 632 miles 9 laps. Thirteen minutes and thirty-nine seconds later the champion of Paris had the exceedingly fine total of 850 miles to his name, and should these rivals, Terrout and Waller, still stick to their work they have done throughout the week, a gigantic performance will undoubtedly be recorded. There is not the slightest doubt about the lucky little Frenchman continuing to the finish, and Is is sure to make it "warm" for the Newcastle man. Most unexpectedly Leeming put in an appearance on the track at twenty-three minutes put three. At half-past four Pagis was leading the way smartly with Terront next, Waller third, Cann fourth, Thresher fifth, Leeming sixth, and Higham last, the scores then standing - Waller, 883 miles; Terront, 868 miles 1 lap; Higham, 786 miles 2 laps; Cann, 718 miles ; Pagis, 652 miles 4 laps ; Thresher, 606 miles 6 laps; and Leeming, 468 miles 7 laps.”

A Bicycle Tour in England and Wales: Made in 1879 by Alfred D. Chandler ...

“On arriving at Matlock we dined with a hearty appetite, and concluded to go to London by the evening train, to see on the morrow the last day's riding of the great six days' bicycle race at Agricultural Hall, London, and to attend to other matters there..... The race at Agricultural Hall, London, was won by Waller, a Newcastle man, who accomplished the extraordinary feat of riding fourteen hundred and four miles in six days of eighteen working hours each. Not one of the contestants was a physical model. Keen, who probably rides in the best form of any English rider of note, did not enter this race, or at least was not riding that day. Waller, Terront, and Cann were the chief contestants. We saw Cann fall in turning a corner; it was pitiable: fortunately the other riders did not fall on him. He was picked up by a policeman, and, with damaged ankle and arm, was helped hobbling to a dressing-room. Terront pressed close upon Waller, lap after lap, but Waller held his own. They ate and drank in the saddle, seizing food or a mug of beef tea — or whatever it was — as they passed an attendant, and tossing back the mug empty on the next round. The riders were tough and sinewy to a remarkable degree, but wanting in athletic beauty of form. It was not my fortune to see in all England a single bicycle rider noticeable for grace and ease in the saddle. Keen, to be sure, is an exception, but I never saw Keen ride till he came to America. This want of form in riding, even among some of the most extraordinary long-distance riders in England, was especially noticeable. The next day (Sunday, September 7 [1879]) we left London, and returned to Matlock Bath...”

THE SIX DAYS’ BICYCLE RACE
Derby Mercury (Derby, England) Wednesday, 10-Sep-1879

“This race, which began on Monday morning at the Agricultural Hall, Islington, was concluded at eleven o’clock on Saturday night last. The competitors on this occasion were nearly the same as on the previous one, the only notable change being that H Pagis, of Paris, took the place of Stanton, of Horsey, the other seven being G Waller (the champion and holder of the belt), C Terront, W Cann, H Higham, T Andrews, H Thresher, and H Leeming. Cann had a very nasty fall early on the first day, which completely extinguished his chance, though he persevered gamely to the end. On Monday night Waller had ridden 261 miles 1 1/2 laps, and held a lead of nine miles from Terront; while Higham, Andrews, and Cann were all within 30 miles of the champion. Waller gained another five miles on Terront on Tuesday, the others having dropped so far behind that the race was virtually reduced to a match between the Newcastle man and the Frenchman. At eleven o’clock on Saturday, when the race terminated, the scores were as follows:-

 

Miles

Laps

|

 

Miles

Laps

Waller

1,404

6

|

Pagis

972

3

Terront

1,390

5

|

Thresher

736

6

Higham

1,145

3

|

Leeming

650

0

Cann

1,100

1

|

Andrews

386

5

Though there can be no question that Waller has accomplished a very wonderful performance, it will not do to altogether accept the above records. The lap was only marked out by a broad white line, and the competitors were not particularly careful in keeping inside it, the winner especially being very lax in this respect. When it is remembered that the rode no less than 10,536 times round the course, the meaning of poaching even a yard or two in each lap will be fully appreciated.”

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