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Cycling at the 1932 Los Angeles Summer Games:

Men's Sprint

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Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
Date Started: August 1, 1932
Date Finished: August 3, 1932
Format: 1,000 metres.

Gold: NED Jacques van Egmond
Silver: FRA Louis Chaillot
Bronze: ITA Bruno Pellizzari

Summary

The format of the match sprint was changed slightly in 1932. For the first time, the final was conducted as best two of three races. Only nine cyclists came to the mark in the first round, with the only rider who had ever seen the podium at the World Championships being Bruno Pellizzari (ITA), third-place finisher in 1930. He survived a quarter-final race against Ernest Chambers (GBR), despite protests. Pellizzari had nearly pushed Chambers off the track but the protest was not upheld and Pellizzari made it to the semi-finals where he faced Jacobus van Egmond (NED) in the second of two semis. Van Egmond rode outside Pellizzari for the last 1½ laps, but outrode him on the last lap to win quite easily. In the first semi, Frenchman Louis Chaillot faced Australian Dunc Gray. That race was very close, with Chaillot edging Gray by inches. Gray then elected to bypass the bronze medal race against Pellizzari, with US newspapers noting that Gray was saving himself for the kilometer while Dutch newspapers stated that Gray was protesting the decision in his race against Chaillot. This decision not to race would pay off as Gray won the gold medal in the kilometer time trial.

In the final, Chaillot won the first race, winning as the Los Angeles Times put it, “by a gnat’s whisker,” and European sources noted that many observers felt the decision was incorrect, but no protest was lodged. In the second race, van Egmond won by a bike length. In the final race, van Egmond led out the race, with Chaillot following throughout. But Chaillot could never get by the Dutchman, who won the gold medal by a wheel. Van Egmond would return in 1933 to win the World Sprint Championships.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Jacques van Egmond 24 Netherlands NED Gold
2 Louis Chaillot 18 France FRA Silver
3 Bruno Pellizzari 24 Italy ITA Bronze
4 Dunc Gray 26 Australia AUS
5T Leo Marchiori 34 Canada CAN
5T Bobby Thomas 19 United States USA
5T Willy Gervin 28 Denmark DEN
5T Ernest Chambers 25 Great Britain GBR
9 Enrique Heredia 20 Mexico MEX