Showing posts tagged omnium

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A six-race event which is contested over two days and includes mass-start racing as well as time trials. This Omnium was certainly a close call with USA’s Sarah Hammer and Great Britain’s Laura Trott tied in points at the end of the first day. For the last three races, Hammer and Trott were neck and neck — leapfrogging each other by a single point in the standings.

In the final race, the twenty-year old Laura Trott rode the fastest 500m Time Trial and Sarah Hammer (who rode the fastest 3000m Time Trial) got the 4th fastest time. In the final standings, Trott won the Gold medal over Hammer by two points. A very close one indeed.

GOLD — Great Britain (Laura Trott)
SILVER — United States (Sarah Hammer)
BRONZE — Australia (Annette Edmondson)

Full results available HERE. Photos courtesy of VeloNews.
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This brand new Olympic event awards the most well-rounded track racer — or as Phil Liggett puts it, the “jack of all trades and master of none”. Though I hate that some of the greatest track events were removed from the Olympics such as the Kilo and the Individual Pursuit, I do enjoy the Omnium.

The winner of the very first Olympic Gold in the Omnium is Denmark’s Lasse Norman Hansen. It was a close match as Hansen was tied for first place with France’s Bryan Coquard and Italy’s Elia Viviani going into the last event. In the end, Hansen put down the second fastest Kilo time and took the Gold.

GOLD — Denmark (Lasse Norman Hansen)
SILVER — France (Bryan Coquard)
BRONZE — Great Britain (Edward Clancy)

Full results available HERE. Photos courtesy of

Elite Nats: Omnium Day 1 Standings

[Photo from USA Cycling]

The 2010 Elite National Championships are well underway now. After one day of competition, Omnium riders have contested in four events (out of six) — Flying 250m Lap, Points Race, Elimination Race and Individual Pursuit.

The way the Omnium is scored is for each event, the first place rider gets 1 point, second place gets 2 points, third gets 3 points, tenth gets 10 points and so on. After all the events, the rider with the lowest points wins the Omnium. For example, in a six-event Omnium, the best score you can get is 6 points for six first place finishes.

Here are the top 5 standings so far:

Omnium Standings Day One

1 Bobby Lea (Mertztown, PA)9 pts
2 Dan Heeley (Hermosa Beach, CA)12 pts
3 Kit Karzen (Beverly Hills, CA)19 pts
4 Austin Carroll (Orange, CA)21 pts
5 Ian Moir (Long Beach, CA)23 pts

1 Sarah Hammer (Temecula, CA)4 pts
2 Cari Higgins (Boulder, CO)10 pts
3 Hanan Alves-Hyde (Oakland, CA)20 pts
4 Jennifer Triplett (Seattle, WA)23 pts
5 Elizabeth Newell (Oakland, CA)24 pts

US Olympic cyclist Bobby Lea leads the men’s field with Dan Heeley right on his heels. For the women, Sarah Hammer (current World Champion in Individual Pursuit) cleaned up with a 1st place finish in all the events so far. Last year’s Omnium National Champion Cari Higgins has a big points gap to cover but anything can happen.

There are still two more events in the Omnium to be contested today — the Scratch Race, the Kilo Time Trial (for men) and the 500m Time Trial (for women). Racing starts at 9am and you can catch all the action down at LA Velodrome (free to spectate!) or on Ustream (free to watch!). Team Pursuits will be contested in the afternoon.

See yesterday’s results at USA Cycling and a geat write-up here.

Elite Nats are starting RIGHT NOW!

Don’t worry if you can’t make it down to LA Velodrome, the races are being streamed live courtesy of Ustream.

TODAY: Flying Laps, Points Races, Elimination Races and Pursuits for the Omnium riders (the fun stuff starts at 4pm). See the full race schedule here.

Olympic Omnium Format

More news from the Union Cycliste Internationale's agenda with Olympic track cycling program. Last week they confirmed the format of the Omnium event and this is what it looks like:

1 - Flying Lap (TT)
2 - Points Race (men: 30km, women: 20km)
3 - Elimination Race (Miss and Out)
4 - Individual Pursuit (men: 4,000m, women: 3,000m)
5 - Scratch Race
6 - Kilometer TT (men), 500m TT (women)

Well, there’s the Individual Pursuit and Points Race which were already eliminated from the Olympic program. Also, there’s the Kilo TT (and 500m for women) which was dropped from the Olympics in 2008. Now they are all grouped together in this kitchen sink Omnium. What does this mean?

A lot of people are saying that UCI and the International Olympic Committee are gradually phasing out track cycling in the Olympics. Is this move really foreshadowing the death of Track Cycling?

There are now only 8 events in Olympic Track Cycling (including the separate men’s and women’s contests):

Team Pursuit

In 2008 we had 10 events. In 2004 we had 12 events. It definitely seems like it’s shrinking.

With the new Omnium format, we’ve got 6 contests housed under one medal. Well so much for specificity. Now if Taylor Phinney wants to win an Olympic medal for his Individual Pursuit effort, he must also ride a killer Kilo and Flying Lap. Could he do that? Yeah, but he’d have to compromise his very specific Pursuit training in order to include training for other events.

The Individual Pursuit is a very specialized event and that’s why there are Pursuit specialists in the world. The same thing goes for the Kilo. The Omnium kind of kills all of that. It’s beginning to look like the IOC only has one Gold Medal to award to an “Overall Track Champion”.

Compare this to swimming with 34 events in 2008 (not including the Diving, Synchronized Swimming or Water Polo events). There are athletes who specialize in very specific swimming events and even still, one man took home 8 Gold Medals, which pretty much made him “Overall Swimming Champion”.

The difference is Phelps had to be the best at ALL those events. In the Omnium, you don’t have to be the best at any of the individual contests. You could come in second for all six races and you’d have an excellent chance at winning the single Gold Medal award. In fact, that’s probably your best bet. You have to be the Jack of all trades, master of none. So this is the new Olympics where mediocrity is rewarded.

With the trend we’re seeing right now, I bet that by 2016 we’ll only have the Omnium and the Team Pursuit. They will take the Sprint competition (which has been narrowed down to 8 qualified riders instead of 18) and throw it into the Omnium, replacing the Flying Lap. Keirin might also become an Omnium contest, replacing the Miss n Out. And that’s that! One Gold Medal to rule them all.

Now I don’t really have a problem with the Omnium as an event in itself. It’s an event contested at the World Camps (since 2007) and obviously most local track race days are set up as Omniums (which is great of course). But this isn’t a local track meet. This is the Olympics. It’s supposed to be a major international event that celebrates and awards the best athleticism shown in ALL disciplines.

That’s why there’s the Shot Put, Hammer Throw, Javelin Throw and Discus Throw… not the “Omnium of Throwing Shit Around”.

Read the news at Cycling Weekly.

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