World cycling championships 1897

The 1897 World Cycling Championships were held on a track that surrounded the pitch at Celtic Park. It would have looked something like this- below is an image of the start line at a 3 mile cycle race at Celtic Park, 1893, reproduced on The Glasgow Story website with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums. It’s an incredible site, dedicated to retelling the story of the city, via the words of Scotland’s best writers and images from its world-class museums, archives and univiersities.

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums

These cyclists are under starter’s orders in the first heat of the 1893 Irish/Scottish meeting. Cycle racing had become a very popular spectator sport by the 1880s, and races could draw crowds of up to 10,000. Many Scottish football stadiums were built with cinder running tracks around the pitches, and at Celtic Park a cement cycle track was added on the perimeter. The stadium hosted the 1897 World Cycling Championships.