The race was a mass start and required 300 laps of the 333⅓ metre track. The riders were paced throughout by cyclists or tandems who would join up and lead out the riders for a few laps. However, only the Greek and French riders had pacemakers, and the others quickly dropped out when they realized they could not keep pace without pacers. Georgios Koletis had a mechanical problem in mid-race, but Léon Flameng stopped and got off his bike, waiting until Koletis’ bike was repaired. Flameng, who raced with a French flag tied around his leg, also fell near the end of the race but won quite easily. In August 1895, Flameng had achieved some measure of fame by cycling 3,000 kilometres across France. However, he was not a well-known cyclist prior to the 1896 Olympics. He never placed at the world championships. Paul Masson did not start this race, although he was entered, but served as one of the pacemakers for Flameng.