Olympic Cycling Road Races
Mission Viejo, CA
July 29, 1984

The men's and women's Olympic cycling road races were held around Mission Viejo, CA, a suburb of Los Angeles. It is dry and hilly, typical on the southern Orange County area. The Start/Finish line was on Olympiad Road, formerly O'Neill Road, renamed in honor of the Olympic event held here. It was sunny and hot the day of the races, tens of thousands of spectators lined the race course.
La Paz RoadOlympiad(formerly O'Neill) Road
Women's Road Race
July 29, 1984

The 1984 Olympic road race was the first cycling event ever contested for women in the Olympic Games. The race favorite was Jeannie Longo of France, a multiple world champion. Also favored were Connie Carpenter-Phinney and Rebecca Twigg of the United States, racing on home roads. Twigg had won a silver medal in the 1983 World Championships behind 1983 World Champion Marianne Berglund, who was also in the race and could factor into the medal picture. Midway through the race a group of riders broke away from the peleton, including Longo, Carpenter-Phinney, Twigg, German Sandra Schumacher and Italian Maria Canins. They managed to stay clear and headed into the last kilometer. Longo, who would go on to win gold in the 1996 Olympic road race in Atlanta, dropped her chain and was out of the medal hunt. Twigg, an experienced track sprinter, lead out the sprint and looked to have the race won. In the last few meters, Carpenter-Phinney came around Twigg and threw her bike across the line to win the first women's Olympic gold medal by a few inches. Twigg took silver, the bronze medal went to Schumacher.

Women's peleton early in the raceMaria Canins leads Connie Carpenter-PhinneyMarianne Berglund(L)Connie Carpenter-PhinneyA group of riders breaks away from the peletonThe peleton chasing the breakawayUnni Larsen - Connie Carpenter-Phinney
Men's Road Race
July 29, 1984

After the exciting finish of the women's race, the men lined up at the start line for 12 laps totaling 190.2km(118.2 mi) over the Mission Viejo roads. It was getting hotter as the afternoon wore on, it was going to be a tough race. With the top Eastern European racers absent due to the boycott, one of the favorites for the race was American Davis Phinney, a member of the 7-11 cycling team, husband of gold medal winner Connie Carpenter-Phinney and the USA cycling team's best sprinter.
On the race's penultimate lap, American Alexi Grewel and Canadian Steve Bauer broke away from the peleton, followed closely by Norwegians Dag Otto Lauritzen and Morten Saether. Bauer and Grewel headed for the finish line to decide the gold medal between them. Bauer, the better sprinter of the two breakaway leaders led out the sprint, Grewel came around him at the line to win by less than a wheel. Lauritzen won the bronze medal.

Mens Olympic road race peletonRon Kiefel(USA)Downhill cornerAlexi Grewel(USA-Yellow Helmet)Spectator's point of view
Olympic Track Events
August 1, 1984

We were lucky enough to score tickets to the Olympic track events on August 1, 1984 at the new Olympic velodrome on the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills. Events would be the men's sprint semifinals and the 4000m Individual Pursuit finals. The best track pursuiters in the world were Eastern Europeans who were not there because of the Olympic boycott, so the favorite was Rolf Gölz, silver medallist at the 1982 World Championships.
After four qualifying rounds, American Steve Hegg was the leader with Gölz in fifth. American Leonard "Harvey" Nitz also made it into the final round. In the gold medal match between Hegg and Gölz, the German started quickly but Hegg caught him at 2500 meters and pulled away to win the gold medal. In the bronze medal race, Nitz narrowly defeated Australian Dean Woods for the final podium spot.
Hegg and Nitz were later identified as two of the American cyclists had participated in the blood doping procedures prior to the Olympic races.

Dominguez Hills VelodromeDominguez Hills VelodromeDominguez Hills VelodromeMens Sprint semifinalsMens Sprint semifinalsSteve Hegg warmupRolf Gölz 4K PursuitSteve Hegg 4K PursuitSteve Hegg 4K PursuitSteve Hegg - Eddie BSteve Hegg gold medal 4K PursuitSteve Hegg gold medal 4K PursuitSteve Hegg gold medal 4K PursuitLeonard "Harvey" Nitz 4K PursuitLeonard "Harvey" Nitz 4K PursuitHegg Gold-Nitz Bronze-Eddie BHegg Gold-Gölz Silver-Nitz Bronze - 4K PursuitMedal ceremony 4K Pursuit
Additional Olympic Tidbits
The 1984 Olympic cycling medals were the first gold medals in United States Olympic cycling team history and the first Olympic cycling medals of any kind since 1912.
Dag Otto Lauritzen's bronze medal in the men's road race was the last Olympic cycling medal won by a Norwegian until 2012 when Alexander Kristoff won a bronze medal at the London games.
In 1984, I was a struggling college student. I shot these photos with a well used Olympus OM-1 35mm camera and ran out of Kodachrome color film during the 4K Pursuit Finals and had to shoot the rest of the day with inexpensive black and white film.
I had this photo of Connie Carpenter-Phinney Connie Carpenter-Phinney and this photo of Steve Hegg Eddie B - Steve Hegg hanging in the showroom of my shop on State Street in Carlsbad, California. One day a man and woman walked in and asked about the photo. I told them that I had taken the photo at the Olympics. The gentleman told me he'd never seen a photo of the race taken from that angle, I explained there was only myself and an ABC television cameraman in that spot. He offered to buy the photo, I started to think he looked kind of familiar so I asked who he was. Turned out it was Eddie Borysewicz, the US cycling team coach in the photo, and his wife. I told him I would give him the photo, but he insisted he would pay me. We went back and forth a little when his wife produced a US Cycling Team pin from her purse and I traded the photo for the pin.