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Cycling at the 1968 Ciudad de México Summer Games:

Men's Team Pursuit, 4,000 metres

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Host City: Ciudad de México, Mexico
Venue(s): Agustín Melgar Olympic Velodrome, Magdalena Mixhuca Sports City, Ciudad de México
Date Started: October 19, 1968
Date Finished: October 21, 1968

Gold: DEN Denmark
Silver: FRG West Germany
Bronze: ITA Italy

Summary

The West German (FRG) team was favored, but Italy, 1966 and 1968 World Champions, were considered challengers. The altitude and fast track brought forth very fast times. In the ninth heat of qualifying, the FRG broke the world record with a time of 4:19.90, bettering the Italian mark of 4:20.64. In the next heat, Italy regained the record with 4:16.10. Unfortunately they were drawn against each other in the first semi-final. A superb race, West Germany broke the record again with 4:15.76, narrowly defeating the Italians, who recorded 4:16.21. The final matched a tired West German team against Denmark. Germany always led and the race looked over when, after 9 of 12 laps, a Danish rider went off the back. But they re-grouped although they trailed on the bell lap. The German team then began to split, with Jürgen Kissner dropping off the pace. As his teammate Karl Heinz Henrichs passed him, Kissner’s hand appeared to touch him, possibly giving him a slight push. Germany still held on to win by 3½ seconds. But Kissner was an East German defector and East German immediately protested that the touch had been an illegal shove. After a 15-minute conference among the judges, West Germany was disqualified, and Italy and the Soviet Union were announced as the silver and bronze medal winners. Now the FRG officials protested, stating that Italy and the Soviets should not be placed ahead of their riders. Another long conference ensued, and the result was announced as Denmark 1st, Italy 3rd. No silver medal placing was given until a meeting of the Fédération Internationale Amateur de Cyclisme (FIAC) in November, when West Germany was awarded second place and the silver medals.

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal
1 Denmark DEN Gold
2 West Germany FRG Silver
3 Italy ITA Bronze
4 Soviet Union URS
5T Belgium BEL
5T Czechoslovakia TCH
5T France FRA
5T Poland POL
1 h1 r1/4 Thailand THA
1 h2 r1/4 Cuba CUB
1 h3 r1/4 United States USA
1 h4 r1/4 Sweden SWE
1 h7 r1/4 East Germany GDR
2 h3 r1/4 Colombia COL
2 h4 r1/4 Trinidad and Tobago TTO
2 h5 r1/4 Argentina ARG
2 h6 r1/4 Mexico MEX
2 h7 r1/4 Netherlands NED
2 h9 r1/4 Switzerland SUI
2 h10 r1/4 Great Britain GBR