Past Olympics Athletes >> Daniel Morelon

Track Cycling

Daniel Morelon

Date of birth

1944-07-24

Birthplace

Bourg-en-Bresse

Height

181 cm

Weight

78.0 kg

Discipline

track (sprint and tandem)

Olympic Games (5 medals - 3 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)

  • Sprint: 1st (1968, 1972), 2nd (1976), 3rd (1964)
  • 2000m tandem: 1st (1968 - with Trentin), 4th (1972/with Trentin)

World Championships (15 medals - 8 gold, 3 silver, 4 gold)

  • Sprint: 1st (1966, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1975), 2nd (1964), 3rd (1965)
  • Tandem sprint: 1st (1966), 2nd (1967), 3rd (1969, 1970, 1971) - all with Trentin
  • Keirin: 2nd (1980)

Morelon-Trentin: a gold-winning tandem

With three Olympic and eight world championship titles, Daniel Morelon formed with Pierre Trentin a team regarded during a ten-year period as the golden duo of French track cycling.

Under the tutelage of the coach Louis Girardin - the ex-sprint French champion known as "Toto" - both cyclists practically swept the board in various track cycling events (sprint, tandem and the kilometre time trial) in a difficult speciality where tactics played just as important a part as physical strength.

World champion for the first time at the age of 22 in 1966, Morelon was the epitome of track cycling beauty, while his occasional Parisian partner was a more stocky and less elegant performer.

A police officer from Bourg-en-Bresse, north of Lyon, Morelon's slimline physique (1.81m/78kg) was exemplary in an era when muscle training was in its infancy.

Success in Mexico

Following the 1964 Tokyo Games, where both riders were incredibly unlucky - Morelon beat Trentin for the bronze medal in the sprint event - the pair began their campaign positively in Mexico (1968).

Morelon won his first Olympic gold in sprint against the Italian rider Giordano Turrini, a victory that was complemented perfectly by Trentin's bronze medal win against the strong Soviet, Omari Phakadze, in the same event.

Trentin avenged his 3rd place kilometre time trial in Tokyo by winning the gold in Mexico eventually having something to smile about, winning the gold after a dramatic race for the finish line. Both French riders, this time together, completed their table by winning the Olympic tandem title - a first for French cycling.

Following Tokyo and Mexico, Daniel Morelon also made it to the Munich Games in 1972.

At the age of 28, he was pushed all the way in conserving his sprint title against the Australian Jack Nicholson.

After a seventh world title win in 1975, Morelon also made his way to the Games in Montreal (1976). In the final, he was taken by surprise by Czechoslovakia's Anton Tkac, and finished second for the silver medal.

Having become a respected coach, Morelon has helped produce two of today's biggest champions: Felicia Ballanger double Olympic champion in 2000 and Laurent Gane, who was the double world champion in 2003 at Stuttgart.

Copyright 2008 Agence France-Presse.



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