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1903 - A Bridge from the 19th Century

Thanks to the latest newspaper archives becoming available online another London race emerges from the cobwebs.

Details are very sketchy but slowly the odd sentences and paragraphs are being pieced together. And it now seems clear that this was the first British two-man six day race. A claim that was previously made about the 1923 race at Olympia.

 

Barden_CharlesFAlexandra Palace - 2 to 7 February

Based upon the few references available it seems that around 1902 an indoor track (velodrome) was built at Alexandra Palace. It was first used for racing on 24-Nov-1902 (report in Yorkshire Telegraph and Star 25-Nov-1902). It was also in use during January 1903 for racing over shorter distances (reports in The Evening News 12-Jan-1903 and La Presse 25-Jan-1903).

The 1903 London six day race was contested over 6 hours per day (one report says 3 hours but the distances are too great) and started on Monday 2nd February with these competitors -

Team A - Martin (England) and Hall (England)
Team B - Anderson (Denmark) and Hinz (Poland)
Team C -
C F Barden (England - photo opposite) and Buisson (France)
Team D - T Webber (England) and Gilbert (England)

Unidentified riders and reserves
Carapezzi (Italy) replaced Buisson
Hodgkinson (England?) replaced Anderson according to one report
Jacquelin (France?)
Meyer / Mayer (Germany?)

Hall is most likely William Thomas (Tommy) Hall who was reported as racing there in January (Sheffield Daily Telegraph 5-Jan-1903)

 

 

 

 

Miles

Laps

1. HALL

-

MARTIN

137

13

2. BARDEN

-

BUISSON

137

13

3. WEBBER

-

GILBERT

137

-

4. ANDERSON

-

HINZ

136

10

La Presse (Paris, France) At the end of Day 1 the leaders were -

 

 

 

 

Miles

Laps

1. HALL

-

MARTIN

272

12

2. BARDEN

-

CARAPEZZI

272

12

3. WEBBER

-

GILBERT

272

11

4. ANDERSON

-

HINZ

215

15

La Presse (Paris, France) At the end of Day 2 the leaders were -

 

BL_0000321_19030204_1184-Feb-1903

 

 

 

Miles

Laps

1. HALL

-

MARTIN

413

7

2. BARDEN

-

CARAPEZZI

413

7

3. WEBBER

-

GILBERT

413

6

La Presse (Paris, France) At the end of Day 3 the leaders were -

 

 

 

Miles

Laps

1. HALL

-

MARTIN

554

1

2. BARDEN

-

CARAPEZZI

554

1

3. WEBBER

-

GILBERT

553

1

4. ANDERSON

-

HINZ

301

4

La Presse (Paris, France) At the end of Day 4 the leaders were -

BL_0000321_19030206_1036-Feb-1903

 

 

 

Miles

Laps

1. HALL

-

MARTIN

695

5

2. WEBBER

 

GILBERT

696

3

3. BARDEN

-

CARAPEZZI

691

2

La Presse (Paris, France) At the end of Day 5 the leaders were printed as shown - but clearly the miles for Webber-Gilbert are wrong.

BL_0000338_19030214_02414-Feb-1903

BL_0000468_19030204_017 4-Feb-1903 A reference to Edmond Jacquelin?

1903_mauto_stampa_sportiva_1903 La Stampa Sportiva

The distances should be miles not kilometres

BL_0000468_19030225_00225-Feb-1903

The six-days cycling race, six hours a day, on the relay system, at Alexandra Palace, ended on Saturday in a narrow win for Hall and Martin (England), 839 miles, or an average of 23 miles per hour for the 36 hours. Another English pair, in Webber and Gilbert, were second, only one mile behind the winners. C. F. Barden covered the greatest distance of any single rider, but he was hampered by having a poor partner. The Australasian (Melbourne) Saturday 21 March 1903

But some of the sources are hard to interpret ...

“Les St'x-JoKrs à Londt'es. Cette fastidieuse- épreuve vient de se tsfminor paf la victoire de l'équipe H&M-Martîn, couvrant 839 miHes; 2 Wobber-Gibbert, 3 Barden-Carapézzi,”

 

ResultBorder4_01

ResultBorder4_02

ResultBorder4_03_1903

ResultBorder4_04

ResultBorder4_05

 

 

 

 

 

Miles

1. Tommy HALL

-

? MARTIN

839

2. T WEBBER

-

? GILBERT

838

3. [Charles F] BARDEN

-

[Anteo] CARAPEZZI

819

4. 

-

 

 

5. 

-

 

 

6.

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ResultBorder4_16

 

 

 

ResultBorder4_20

 

Illustration from Cycling magazine of “Incidents of the Six Days’ Race at the Alexandra Palace, held last week” (Thanks to Nick)

1903_AlexanderPalace_0802

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