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Australian Six Day Races - Adelaide 19 to 24 June 1882

Adelaide188206PAVILION, CENTRAL MARKET

THE GREAT INTERCOLONIAL
SIX-DAYS’ BICYCLE TOURNAMENT
FOR THE
CHAMPIONSHIP OF AUSTRALIA
AND
115 IN PRIZES
will commence on
MONDAY, JUNE 19
at the
PAVILION, CENTRAL MARKET

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Adelaide Central Market - the venue for the first South Australian Six Day Race

 

THE SIX-DAYS’ BICYCLE CONTEST
South Australian Advertiser Thursday 15-Jun-1882

The following are the entries for this event: — J. Rolfe, champion of Australia; W.J. Press, champion of South Australia; J. Thomas, ex-champion of Victoria; George Spicer and J. Carter, Melbourne: G. N. Halliday, New South Wales; W. Tyler, L. F. Sillitoe, A. Gault, Tommy Cox, and W. Austin, of Adelaide.
With reference to the merits of the several riders we have received the following:— Rolfe, Press, and Spicer have all been in a six days' race before, while the remaining riders have not. Rolfe won the six days contest in Melbourne in December last, beating W. J. Press, our champion, by only about 12 miles; and as Press has considerably improved since then, without doubt the distance separating the champions at the finish, in the coming six days' match will be less than in the Melbourne one.
Rolfe, besides being a long-distance rider, can cover the mile in 2.58, which is an excellent performance; and be is able to do other distances in as comparatively good time. In the six days in Melbourne he rode more than 903 miles in seventy hours.
The merits of W. J. Press, our local champion, are well known, and as be is in good form be is confident of being about at the finish.
J. Thomas, ex-champion, is a very good man, and was defeated by Rolfe in a 23 mile race for the championship of Victoria about a year ago. He can do a mile in 3.5.
George Spicer will probably make the running warm for the others, as he was third for the first three days in Melbourne, but had to retire when quite fresh, owing to both his wrists being sprained.
W. Tyler is well known here as one of our best men, and generally when racing with Press makes it warm for him, he having on several occasions beaten him, is one who ought to do well.
L. F. Sillitoe, who some time ago was well known as a racing man, for some time past has been compelled to relinquish racing owing to an accident received through a fall. He has gone into strict training and as he always was a good long-distance rider he will probably give a good account of himself.
A. Gault well known as a good man, and, as on former occasions, will probably do something worth recording.
The powers of the other competitors, with the exception of Tommy Cox (who has not trained), are unknown, but it will be seen next week how they shape.
The four Victorian competitors left Melbourne on Tuesday by the Victorian. Entries for the other events in connection with the six days' tournament will have to be made before Saturday evening.

THE BICYCLE TOURNAMENT
South Australian Register Thursday 22-Jun-1882

The contest for the championship was continued in the pavilion at 11 on Wednesday morning, and the running was extremely good. Sillitoe took the track again in the morning. At 12.45 the record stood as follows :- Rolfe, 252 miles 6 laps; Press, 243-8; Spicer, 218-3; Gault, 126-5; Sillitoe, 52-8 and at 1 o'clock the score stood :- Rolfe, 256 miles 1 lap; Press, 247; Spicer, 221-2; Sillitoe, 56-8. All the competitors went off the track for a few minutes each two or three times. Gault went on at 4.15 p.m. Sillitoe resumed the track evidently with the intention of pulling up for fourth place. At 5.46 the tire of the machine ridden by Press came off and he fell. Rolfe, who was close behind him going at good speed, only saved himself from coming a cropper by his own dexterity, as he shaved the prostrate cyclist by only an inch or so. Press was not hurt and was soon in the saddle of another bicycle going the pace as well as ever. At 6.45 the record was :- Rolfe, 322 miles 4 laps; Press, 298-6; and Spicer, 278-6. At 9 p.m. Rolfe had done 347-2; Press, 333; Spicer, 297; Gault, 180-7; and Sillitoe, 136-3. There was a good attendance in the evening, and the enthusiasm was encouraging to the performers as well as the promoters. The track is in fair order, and there is ample space under cover for the spectators who choose to avail themselves of it, as in the centre of the enclosure there is a large marquee, and the awning extends beyond the track on all sides. At 10 o'clock the record was- Rolfe, 355; Press, 344-1; Spicer, 3O5-2; Gault, 190-3; Sillitoe, 145-3. At 11 the board showed :-

 

 

Miles

Laps

1

ROLFE

368

6

2

PRESS

357

1

3

SPICER

312

6

4

GAULT

202

2

5

SILLITOE

153

4

THE BICYCLE CONTEST
South Australian Register Monday 26-Jun-1882

An immense crowd of people assembled at the pavilion on Saturday night to witness the final struggle for the Bicycle Championship of and the towards the close that it was a difficult task to keep the track clear for the competitors. People were coming in by scores up to and after 11 o'clock. All the interest was, of course, centred upon the close contest between Rolfe, the Victorian, and Press, the South Australian representative, and the fact that Press had gained so much upon his rival made people keenly alive to the result. In fact, some got so excited that they insisted upon Sillitoe, who was last, going off and leaving the course clear, Gault and Spicer having already retired with that object. It was, however, Hanlan and Trickett over again, only that Rolfe had a stiffer foe to fight. Press proved himself a good man, but Rolfe was a wonder. Almost from the beginning of the six days' race on Monday, Rolfe, with true British doggedness, stuck to the lead first gained, uninfluenced by any thing passing around him and young Press, with equal pluck, has been just as unflagging in his persistent pursuit, winning a lap and losing it with equal coolness; in fact, the race has been run with excellent judgment by both. Press, perhaps, made a mistake in allowing Rolfe to obtain so strong a lead at the first, but the close showed that although the Victorian was the better man he found Press a very hard nut to crack.
Mr. J. B. Broderick, under whose management the sports were, certainly deserved more encouragement than he got at the outset, but the weather has been all through against the affair, as the days and evenings have been exceptionally chilly, dull, and dismal, owing to the cutting wind and rain. But that the public really felt more than ordinary interest in the bicycling competition was shown by the larger attendance on the fourth and fifth day and the crush on the last night. The announcement in Saturday morning's paper that Press who had been some ten or eleven miles behind, had at last let himself out and pulled up to within nearly a mile of Rolfe, the latter being 613 miles 3 laps and Press 611 miles 8 laps, caused considerable excitement ; and when during the day the Adelaide man steadily gained there was a prospect of just what the sporting fraternity love to see, viz., a neck-and-neck finish.
Rolfe took matters very coolly, being evidently confident of holding his own, but if he had not spurted so splendidly as he did he would not have been so sure of the win gained so gallantly. The men went off the track a few times during the day for short spells, and the real rush was reserved for the evening. At 8.10 p.m. Rolfe was 676 miles, Press 674 miles 7 laps, Spicer 524-5, Gault 467-1, Silitoe 446-5. Press spurted strongly, and kept it up for some time, securing a lap on Rolfe, and at 8.20 Rolfe put on one of his rapid rushes, going along at marvellous speed, and passing Press amidst cheers and counter cheers, but not recovering the lost lap. The two kept together for several rounds at a rate beyond that of ordinary cyclists, as when Rolfe was 677-7 Press was 676-5. As each number went up the crowd watched it eagerly, and the excitement increased as the two men went off again in a lightning spurt, and at 9.10 p.m. Press's record showed another lap gained on his rival. It took nine laps to the mile. Some low-minded, mean-spirited souls began to hoot Rolfe because he seemed likely to disappoint them by losing ; but the generous cheers in Rolfe’s favour drowned the cowardly signs of disapprobation, and should have awakened some shame for the un-English disregard of fair play. Rolfe was riding with little less ease than on the second day, and his style was admirable. He leant a little over the Handles, showing that ho had to call upon himself more than usual, but he was as cool as a cucumber. When Rolfe had covered 687 miles 3 laps Press showed 636 miles 4 laps. At 10, Sillitoe, who had been going his best, had pulled up seven miles on Gault. Spicer did his usual steady round. Press gained two laps on Rolfe in twenty minutes, with a plucky effort, by 10 o'clock ; and at 10.35 Rolfe was 700 miles 2 laps, Press 699 miles 4 laps, Spicer 535 miles 1 lap, Gault 478 miles 3 laps, and Sillitoe 472 miles 4 laps.
Press again spurted, and gained another lap on Rolfe, who was now only six laps ahead of him. At 10.30 Rolfe was 701 miles 1 lap and Press 700 miles 4 laps ; and when Rolfe was 701 miles 5 laps, Press had got his 701 miles amidst deafening cheers. There was some rapid leg-play for several rounds, and Press had got within three laps of Rolfe, who let out in an astonishing style, pressing his rival hard for several laps, and the result was- Rolfe, 704 - 1; Press, 704. Rolfe, with a rush round, gained a lap, and Press sent his bicycle along with additional vigour, coming up to his four laps, but failing to increase his distance further. About five minutes to 11, when the excitement was at its height, Rolfe made a final effort, and flashed round the ring with such celerity that all hope of Press's supporters vanished; and then commenced a grand finish, Rolfe and Press rushing round with their bicycles almost touching, aid although Rolfe could not pass him he landed himself a winner by the four laps as the clock struck 11. The record stood thus :-

 

 

Miles

Laps

1

J. ROLFE (Champion of Australia)

708

7

2

W. J. PRESS (Champion of S.A.)

708

3

3

G. SPICER (Victoria)

535

0

4

A. GAULT (Adelaide)

481

7

5

L. F. SILLITOE (S.A.)

476

8

Rolfe's mile in the last spurt was timed at 2min. 46 sec. At the Melbourne Champion Bicycle Tournament in December last the distances covered at the close were as follows:- Rolfe, 910-8; Press, 891-11 ; Irish, 880-7. Rolfe covered his last mile then in 3 min. 20 sec. His average was 130 miles a day. It must be remembered that in the Adelaide contest the men were off the track the first day for five hours, owing to the rain having made it necessary for part of the course to be boarded. The track was a trifle heavy from the rain. When the men dismounted there was a rush of the admiring crowd, and both were cheered to the echo. There were loud calls for Rolfe and Press, and when they appeared at the top tier of the reserved seats the enthusiasm was immense. Neither Rolfe nor Press appeared any more affected by their 700 odd miles of riding than a jockey after a five-mile flat a strong argument in favour of bicycling as an exercise. There were other amusements besides the cycling. Mr. Gale had a display of fireworks, and there were some acrobatic performances. Throughout the six days' contest Mr. Charles H. De Brenni acted as general referee, and performed his duties admirably. To-night the South Australian Bicycle Club hold races in the pavilion, and Rolfe and Press are among the competitors.

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Adelaide Super-Drome - a great venue just waiting for the next South Australian Six

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