This 2 day full Olympic format omnium took place this Sunday afternoon and concluded on Monday morning. It was a rare opportunity to do a full omnium at an indoor velodrome under the same format as the Olympics. LVRC races are divided into age categories, and I although I am relative youngster the standard seemed pretty high, with a number of Masters Championships competitors, and at least one Masters World Champion apparently.
As this was my first time back on the track since breaking my collarbone in September (different kind of 'flying lap'), I was a little nervous going into this. Riding most of the time at Herne Hill, you forget how much tighter a 250m track is. I felt a bit unstable in the banking as I tried to keep it on the black line. 16.257 secs = 55.36 km/h. 4th - not a great result and could do better.
Points race - 60 laps (15km)
This was raced between the A and B cats and was pretty frantic. Sprints every 10 laps. I stayed with the bunch but was only in the points once. Lack of fitness and track-craft evident. 5th.
Elimination race (a.k.a. Devil)
These races are such a lottery. Got caught out by a rider who had been eliminated but was still riding (just behind me). Thought I was safe. Annoying. 5th (again).
3km individual pursuit
Pursuiting has always been my favourite discipline. Team pursuit is easier and more fun, but the IP is the next best thing. I got the bike prepped the night before so was ready for the off at around 9am. Tried to get a fast start, but after 4 laps (1km) was already starting to feel the burn. Then I spotted I was reeling in the other rider which gave something to chase. Managed to catch him just as I hit my bell lap (photo above), and recorded a time of 3:47 (47.56 km/h) which was enough to win the event in my category and was the second fastest time. Felt chuffed with that.
Scratch race - 40 laps (10km)
Fast pace with an attempted attack by the 2 leaders early on. A London Dynamo rider then sneaked off the front and amazingly stayed away to win. I got boxed in during the sprint for a disappointing 6th place. My chances of getting on the podium were now gone.
750m time trial
This was also ridden in full aero kit. I was hoping I would be OK at this but conscious that it is more of a sprinters' event than the pursuit. One more minute of pain was all I had to endure though, so I gave it everything I had left. As I returned to the pen I watched the two leaders face off. The timing is fully electronic and down to one thousanth of a second. I managed to get my second victory by just 9 thousanths of a second (55.374 secs = 48.76 km/h).
Lack of fitness, track-craft and consistency let me down a bit, but it was an excellent event, very well organised and a great bunch of people. I ended up 4th in my category, and 2 points off the podium. Definitely lots of scope to improve.