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Australian cycling legend passes away

Australian cycling legend Lionel Cox died overnight at the age of 80 following a bout of pneumonia. The Olympic gold medalist suffered a stroke last year and never fully recovered good health.

Cox rose to prominence by winning gold in the tandem with Russell Mockridge at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics before taking silver in the sprint behind legendary Italian star Enzo Sacchi at the same meet.

What made his performance so outstanding was that the young New South Welshman had never ridden a tandem, using one of the British team's rejected tandems to win the gold medal.

Four years later Cox missed selection for the Melbourne Olympics held in his home country of Australia, when he was beaten by Dick Ploog for the national title and hence a place in the team for the Games.

His career came to an end when he crashed at the Balmoral track in Brisbane, breaking a vertebra in his neck. He went on to train and mentor many young riders and continued to be a great ambassador for the sport.

Cyclingnews sends its deepest condolences to the Cox family

Obituary courtesy of Phill Bates