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Cycling at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games:

Men's Tandem Sprint, 2,000 metres

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Helsinki, Finland
Venue(s): Helsinki Velodrome, Helsinki
Date Started: July 28, 1952
Date Finished: July 31, 1952

Gold: AUS Australia
Silver: RSA South Africa
Bronze: ITA Italy

Summary

This was the final track event of the 1952 Olympics, the final following shortly after the match sprint final. Fourteen teams started the event. The semi-finals came down to Australia against Italy, and South Africa against France. But South Africa had a walkover, as the French team of Franck le Normand and Robert Vidal could not compete. Le Normand had taken a bad fall in the sprint quarter-final repêchages earlier in the day, and was taken to the hospital. The Australian team was Lionel Cox and Russell Mockridge, who had only ridden together once prior to the Olympics. But they were formidable – Mockridge won the kilometer time trial and Cox was silver medalist in the sprint. The Italian tandem was Cesare Pinarello and Antonio Maspes, also a very formidable team. Pinarello would place second in the sprint at the 1953 World Championships. Maspes turned professional in 1954 and won seven World Championships in the sprint – 1955-56, 1959-62, and 1964. In the semi, Pinarello and Maspes were no match for the Australians, but they won the bronze medal in a walkover, when France could again not come to the mark. The final was a virtual walkover for Cox and Mockridge, who easily won the race over South Africa for the gold medal.

Russell Mockridge turned professional late in 1953. He won several six-day races and managed to finish the 1955 Tour de France. He was unmatched in Australia, winning 12 consecutive national titles. In 1958 he was killed when struck by a bus while riding in the Tour of Gippsland race.

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal
1 Australia AUS Gold
2 South Africa RSA Silver
3 Italy ITA Bronze
4 France FRA
5T Denmark DEN
5T Great Britain GBR
5T Hungary HUN
5T New Zealand NZL
9 Switzerland SUI
10 Belgium BEL
2 h1 r2/5 Finland FIN
2 h2 r2/5 Austria AUT
2 h3 r2/5 Japan JPN
3 h3 r2/5 United States USA