The 1890s were the heyday of sprinting on the track, one of the most important disciplines in bicycle-racing. One thousand metres, equivalent to several laps of typical tracks, was the most common distance covered in these races and the winner was the first rider to cross the finishing line. The racing took place in an enclosed arena, a track or velodrome, around which the spectators were gathered. Tactics, surprise acceleration and a pure burst of speed over the last few hundred metres were the decisive factors and the actual time of the entire race was relatively unimportant. Records were not set in this discipline, but the racing was attractive to an audience which appreciated the subtleties of tactics between a number of evenly matched opponents and the thrill of a close, fast finish. The sport had emerged in the 1870s and 1880s, the era of the high-wheel bicycle. By the 1890s, the 'match race', between two or three rivals, represented the 'classic' form of sprinting. The most famous amateur and professional sprinters regularly attracted huge crowds and were in international demand. The American Arthur Zimmerman, for example, who won the first officially sanctioned world amateur sprint championship in Chicago in 1893, won 110 races in just one year; the German champion Willy Arend collected 137 'Grand Prix' sprinting prizes between 1896 and 1903 and the African-American sprinter Major Taylor raced in France, Belgium, Italy and Germany between 1901 and 1904, where the spectators were amazed by his performances.!