Article about Victor Hopkins

The opportunity to compete in the 1924 Paris Olympics inspired Victor Hopkins of Davenport, Iowa. For the Midwest ABL Olympic road trials, he pedaled his one-speed bicycle from Davenport to Milwaukee, where he competed in early May in the 116-mile time trial that made up the road race from Milwaukee's Washington Park south along Lake Michigan to finish in Chicago's Humboldt Park. He qualified for the final three weeks later in Paterson, JN.
Hopkins pedaled back home to Davenport, then pedaled 1,000 miles over mostly dirt roads to reach the 117-mile final Olympic trial course (NJ) on June 1. He won by 20 seconds.
In late June Hopkins, six teammates, and their manager shipped out across the Atlantic on the U.S.S. America. The 1924 Paris Olympics are romanticized in the 1981 movie Chariots of Fire, but the U.S. cycling team experienced totally the opposite. They slept in a barn, on the floor over horses that kept them awake with noisy eating.
The early Olympic road races were individual time trials. During the 117-mile Paris Olympics road race, Hopkins was riding the third-fastest time through 30 miles when he sped downhill into a railroad crossing gate that blocked his path. He crashed and twisted his wooden-rimmed rear wheel. After a delayed wheel change, he continued and finished 59th, emblematic of the U.S. cycling team.

from Peter Nye's article about the history of the USCF in the 1998 75th anniversary issue for USAC magazine
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