National Track Omnium Champoinships 16th June 2018, with thanks to Valdis Andersons

"An omnium (from Latin: of all, belonging to all) race is the pentathlon of cycling, reintroduced into the track cycling world championships in 2007. Each competitor rides in four events all of which must be completed." BBC Sport

 

Strangely enough this was an event I dreaded the most and nearly ended up not registering for it. On the last day of entries I changed my mind and decided that if the weather is going to be nice on Saturday, I’ll go and at least get some great training in the legs before going away on holidays.

Event 1: Scratch Race

22 laps, placings at the finish decide who gets what points (1st is 40, 2nd 39 and so on).

Watching the women’s race beforehand, where they were all looking at each other and with special attention to Lydia Boylan who was the clear favourite going into the day, lead me into a false sense of security that it won’t be as bad as last year. The men's race had a similar lineup to the women's where Mark Potts was the clear favourite for the gold medal. So it might be as cautious and not as mental as in 2017?

How wrong I was! Even the neutral lap felt fast, then the attacks went from the gun. Lads with fresh legs vying for position and trying to get some daylight between their back wheels and the speeding bunch. The legs held up. Eventually three got away: Mark Potts (Track Project), Matt McCullagh (Sundrive) and Daragh Zaidan (Arcane) and stayed away till the line. I managed to get the gallop for 4th spot and I felt delighted with that.

Photo thanks to Arcane CC

Event 2: Tempo Race

Such a misleading name for a race! There is nothing ‘tempo’ about it, nothing! The race was 22 laps - 10km or so, 3 laps lead in then sprint every lap, 1st over the line gets a point, rider with most points wins the race.

Knowing how badly these races tend to hit me physically I tried to stay sheltered as best as I could and surfing wheels as close as safely possible. The dynamic turned out to be a little different this time, the attacks were less relentless and the break formed with riders ‘sneaking’ away. Somehow I got caught napping in the unusual dynamics and then there was a 5-man break half a lap ahead of the bunch. I had to console myself with a bunch gallop for 6th place, JB Murphy (Kilcullen) beat me to it, 7th it was.

Event 3: Elimination

My favourite, the most fun race ever!

In this race there are as many laps as there are riders (the first is neutral) and last rider across the line on every lap gets eliminated (it’s the back wheel that counts here!). Unfortunately I got a bad start and had to fight my way back to the front over the first 6 laps, cost me dearly. I ended up only 4th, I should have done better.

A well hidden Valdis in the bunch:) photo thanks to Arcane CC

Event 4: Points Race

This one is a beast! 55 laps with a sprint for points (5, 3, 2, 1) every 5 laps with the last sprint of the race being double points (10, 6, 4, 2). Unlike the earlier races the actual sprint points scored during this race are going to the rider’s overall points kitty. If you don’t place in the top 4 in any of the sprints you carry no points from this race. It's a tough one.

Going into this one I was sitting 4th overall. Only 2 points shy of bronze position occupied by JB Murphy and a much bigger deficit to Daragh Zaidan who was sitting in silver position (Potts was uncatchable by any way you looked at it). My plan was to just see if I could get ahead of young JB. I wasn’t marking anyone else, just him and went only with bigger moves that threatened to split the bunch.

In the first couple sprints I was outclassed but the further the race went the better I started doing. In the last 20 or so laps it looked like I had saved more energy in my legs and for the odd sprint I didn’t even have to get out of the saddle to claim my points! For the last sprint everything was almost back together with Potts having lapped us and with only his partner in crime Ross Collins (Swords) still out front it was gearing up for a big gallop to get the double points.

For the last 3 laps I just clung on to JB’s wheel and coming out of the last bend went as close as possible to him to get the most shelter from the crosswind and sprinted with all the strength my legs still had. Got it by half a wheel. It turned out that that last sprint put me in the silver medal position.

When I was presented with the fact that I had just won my first National medal my jaw just dropped and it was silver to boot. Didn’t quite know what to say, felt like walking on clouds :)

If you would like to try out some of the above and more the Wednesday night Summer league is starting next week. It’s great fun and while giving you a great workout teaches how to use the track efficiently and effectively.

You too could have this much fun! Photo thanks to Mark Griffin

 

Spring Track League Results

Over the last 8 weeks a number of Orwell riders have raced on the track on Wednesday nights. Many a race was raced, many battles had, countless tired legs made, lots more laughs had and even the odd sunburn acquired.

Katie at the Spring League Prize giving, photo thanks to Arcane CC

Youths (D category) Overall

Katie Reilly 2nd

Aine Reilly 4th

Oisin May 5th

 

C2 Category Overall

Caoimhe May 3rd

 

B Category Overall

Dmitri Griffin 1st

 

A Category Overall

Valdis Andersons 1st

Daniel McElroy 7th

 

Combativity Award (based on amount of placings and coaches observations)

Valdis Andersons

Valdis recieving his track league prizes, photo thanks to Mark Griffin Photography
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