Yesterday the elite men's omnium started with the flying 250m. Opposed to the World Cup format (flying 200m, 20km points race, 3km pursuit, 10km scratch race and kilo pursuit) the National Championship Omnium follows the Olympic format, extending each event to full distance (Flying 250m, 40km Scratch, Elimination Race, 4km Pursuit, 15km Scratch and Kilo Pursuit).
I am a bit rushed for time as breakfast is ready and then I'm off to the track for the final three events but here are some photos and a summary of yesterday. We started with the flying 250m and after selecting the wrong gear (used the old english chart instead of asking the other riders) I accidently ran a very large gear and was never able to get on top of it. As a result I placed 14/19 in the 14 second event.
The points race however went very well. With a 160 laps on the board, I played it conservative in the opening laps. Zach attacked about 50 laps into the race, at which point I had no points so I took off with Spidertech rider Charly Vives in an attempt to lap the field. Chasing Zach's attack, who rode 5-6 seconds ahead of us, we worked well together and alternated the wind pushing duties each full lap. Within 10 laps the field dangled only two seconds ahead but Zach, who at this point had made the 20 points awarded to a rider who laps the field, rode through the bunch and strung out the pack in an effort to thwart our lap attempt. It was a horribly slow death and lap after lap we drifted off the tail end of the peleton. Back in the peloton after a 50-60 lap trip off the front - I had moved up to 6th overall. Now I needed to finish off very strong to secure my position. I made a big effort with 30 laps to go to take another 3 points in a hotly contested sprint - a well timed bike throw was needed however as the 2nd place pushed me up to 3rd overall. I was totally gassed but grabbed another single point at twenty laps to go (4th in the sprint) before a rest in preparation for the final. With 15laps to go, shortly before the penultimate sprint on lap 10, two riders jumped ahead. Zach and I countered and came across the line on lap 10 together. He left the extra point available as he knew I was tied for 4th at this point however I did not come around - a move I would regret later. The pack quickly pulled us back on lap 152/160 so I gained elevation on the banking just as Charlie Vives attacked again. I jumped on board and we started working hard. Taking only half lap pulls, we moved away from the field in pursuit of the two riders ahead. At 5 laps to go Jeremy told me that I was tied on points for 4th with Charlie and that I would have to beat him in the finale. Unfortunately the two riders ahead on the track had jumped ahead of Charlie and I in the points and were now battling for 2nd and 3rd overall while Zach relaxed in the peleton - out of reach after lapping the field twice and accumulating a forty point advantage. In the finale I relinquished the lead with 1.5 to go at which time Charlie attacked as I knew he would. I came up beside him along the back straightaway but in the push to the line I couldn't muster the power. As a result I secured the final point in the finale sprint, which secured a a 5th place overall finish, 1 point back of Charlie. A big shout out to my fellow team BC rider Jacob Schwingboth who did some awesome work in the final laps to keep the peleton close (when I was resting in the peleton) and my chances of a good result alive as his race had not gone the way he planned -definitely buying him a beer tonight.
The points race moved me up to 10th overall in the omnium (from 14th), only 13 points back of 2nd place. Next up, the elimination race four hours later. After a nice break back at the hotel, I geared up again for the 12-15 minute event. With 19 starters, the race would last 38 laps and the last rider across the line every two laps would be eliminated from the event. It is a very tricky event. The best place is to ride the top three positions but everyone is vying for these spots so it is very tight. Since riders extend upwards out of the final banking towards the rail in a bid to avoid elimination, riders who get boxed in low often get cut as they have no where to accelerate. After nine riders had been eliminated, that is exactly what happened. Most unfortunate. No where to go and every one else is ahead. So although I remain 10th in the omnium, the gap to 5th place is now 10 points so I will need to go very well today if I want to move up in the omnium overall.
But it is also the last day of season so I really have everything to play for. I can leave it all out on the track and that is exactly what I plan to do. The 4km pursuits start around 1.15pm EST which will be followed by a full distance Scratch race (which like the Points Race, will serve as the National Championship race due to rain delays earlier in the week), and then a final 4 lap explosion called the kilo. It's go time....enough said.
Aug. 25 - Final Lap of Individual 4k Pursuit - Finished 4th
Jeremy lended a much needed hand afterwards
Aug. 26 - Men's Points Race (rained out) - playing on the front
Sporting my Muscle Memory Kit
Thanks Muscle Memory!
Racing outdoors makes staying warm a challenge - the jacket has been great!
Thanks Muscle Memory, Cycling BC and Rubicon Orbea!
Labels: Track Report