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Cycling at the 1960 Roma Summer Games:

Men's Sprint

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Host City: Roma, Italy
Venue(s): Olympic Velodrome, Roma
Date Started: August 26, 1960
Date Finished: August 29, 1960
Format: 1,000 metres.

Gold: ITA Sante Gaiardoni
Silver: BEL Leo Sterckx
Bronze: ITA Valentino Gasparella

Summary

For the first time since 1924, a nation could enter more than one rider in this event. This gave the Italians the two favorites in Sante Gaiardoni, 1960 World Champion, and Valentino Gasparella, the World Champion in 1958-59, who defeated Gaiardoni both times in the final. They had also won the last three Grand Prix de Paris, again Gasparella in 1958-59 and Gaiardoni in 1960. A long convoluted series of races determined the eight quarter-finalists, as the first round was followed by a repêchage, then repêchage finals, then a second round and another series of repêchages and repêchage finals. From the quarter-finals onward, the matches were best two of three races. Gaiardoni and Gasparella easily made the semis, where Gaiardoni met Australia’s Ron Baensch, defeating him in two straight races. In the other semi, Gasparella faced Belgian Léo Sterckx, who had lost the 1960 World Championship and Grand Prix de Paris finals to Gaiardoni. Gasparella won the first race, but Sterckx then defeated him in two straight to advance to another final against Gaiardoni. In the first race of the final, Gaiardoni put on a stunning surge on the final banking that gave him a runaway victory. Sterckx put up little opposition in the second race, and Gaiardoni became the only man to win the kilometer and the sprint at the Olympics, winning all eight of his races in the sprint. He would soon turn professional and won the World Sprint title in 1963, defeating sprint legend Antonio Maspes. Gaiardoni had a long sprint career as a professional, also placing second at the Worlds in 1962, 1969-70, and third in 1966. He was a runner-up three times to Maspes in the professional Grand Prix de Paris (1961, 1963-64). Gasparella also turned professional but had less success, his only major podium finish being second to Maspes at the 1962 Grand Prix de Paris.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Sante Gaiardoni 21 Italy ITA Gold
2 Leo Sterckx 24 Belgium BEL Silver
3 Valentino Gasparella 25 Italy ITA Bronze
4 Ron Baensch 21 Australia AUS
5T Anésio Argenton 29 Brazil BRA
5T Lloyd Binch 29 Great Britain GBR
5T Antoine Pellegrina 26 France FRA
5T August Rieke 25 Germany GER
2 h1 r6/9 Mario Vanegas 21 Colombia COL
2 h2 r6/9 Kurt Rechsteiner 29 Switzerland SUI
2 h1 r5/9 André Gruchet 27 France FRA
2 h2 r5/9 Clyde Rimple 23 West Indies Federation WIF
2 h3 r5/9 Günter Kaslowski 26 Germany GER
2 h4 r5/9 Piet van der Touw 19 Netherlands NED
3 h1 r5/9 Aad de Graaf 20 Netherlands NED
3 h2 r5/9 Boris Vasilyev 23 Soviet Union URS
3 h3 r5/9 Gilbert De Rieck 23 Belgium BEL
3 h4 r5/9 Imants Bodnieks 19 Soviet Union URS
3 h1 r3/9 Cenobio Ruiz 26 Mexico MEX
3 h2 r3/9 Luis Muciño 24 Mexico MEX
3 h3 r3/9 Herbert Francis 20 United States USA
2 h1 r2/9 Karl Barton 23 Great Britain GBR
2 h2 r2/9 Martin McKay 23 Ireland IRL
2 h3 r2/9 José Errandonea 19 Spain ESP
2 h4 r2/9 Abdul Razzaq Baloch 24 Pakistan PAK
2 h5 r2/9 Muhammad Ashiq 25 Pakistan PAK
2 h6 r2/9 Michael Horgan 26 Ireland IRL
2 h7 r2/9 Francisco Tortellá 22 Spain ESP
2 h8 r2/9 Jackie Simes 17 United States USA
2 h9 r2/9 Paul Nyman 31 Finland FIN