The first round of the match sprint started at halftime of the first match of the football (soccer) tournament, between Denmark and Smyrna. The football (soccer) matches were held in the infield of the velodrome. The event was won by Francesco Verri, who narrowly defeated Britain’s Herbert Bouffler and Eugène Debongnie of Belgium in the finals. The greatest sprint cyclist in this era was probably Britain’s Jimmy Benyon. Benyon won only one National Cycling Union (NCU) championship, the ¼-mile in 1904, but in the match sprint at the world championships, he was the runner-up in 1903 at Copenhagen, 3rd in 1904 at London, and the champion in 1905 in Antwerp. Another top sprinter in this era was Britain’s Arthur Reed, who was world match sprint champion in 1903, runner-up in 1904 to America’s Marcus Hurley (multiple gold medalist at the 1904 Olympics), and had won NCU championships in 1902 (1 mile), 1903 (5 miles), and 1904 (1 mile). Neither Reed nor Benyon went to Athens as a member of the British team. Debougnie had been 3rd in the 1905 world championships in Antwerp in the match sprint, losing out to Benyon.