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