Omniums set for classic finale
2012 Cycling Australia Omnium, Para-cycling and Madison National Championships at Melbourne's DISC Velodrome today.
South Australian Glenn O’Shea holds a comfortable lead in the men’s omnium after wining two of the three events so far contested. O’Shea heads into tomorrow’s final day of competition on four points after winning both the points and elimination races and placing second in the flying lap.
He is six points clear of fellow South Australian Alex Edmondson and reigning national champion Scott Law (NSW) who each sit on ten points.
“I was happy with my flying lap today given it’s the first one I’ve ever done,” said O’Shea, who claimed the pursuit and Madison (with Edmondson) gold medals at last month’s Astana round of the UCI Track World Cup.
“The points and elimination worked out well and I have managed to put a good gap between myself and the rest of the field.
“But it still a big day tomorrow, things can change and being the leader by a fair bit can be tough in the bunch races as everyone will keep an eye on you,” said O’Shea. “But I have two timed events which plays into my hands quite a bit and hopefully I can ride a good time like I did in Astana.”
Reigning Oceania champion Ashlee Ankudinoff leads the women’s standings on eight points following strong performance across the three events.
Sydney’s Ankudinoff posted the fastest time in the flying lap with 14.482, collected a third place in the points race and was fourth in the elimination.
She leads West Australia’s Isabella King by four points, while 2009 omnium world champion Josephine Tomic is one point further back in third.
Tomic recorded an emphatic victory in the points race, lapping the field with Canberra’s Rebecca Wiasak. Tomic’s team mate Melissa Hoskins triumphed in the elimination race over King and Tasmania’s Amy Cure.
“It’s a good start, I haven’t done an omnium for a long time so it’s pretty handy to be leading at the halfway point,” said Ankudinoff, the 2010 national champion who is completing her first full season after missing most of 2011 due to injury.
“I am comfortable heading into tomorrow’s pursuit and time trial as I like the timed events. But all these girls are pretty good at timed events, so I will just give it my all and see how I go,” Ankudinoff added.
Reigning junior world, Oceania and Australian champion Caleb Ewan leads the under 19 category after two wins from three events. Ewan sits on four points, four ahead of team mate Tirian McManus with South Australia’s Robert-Jon McCarthy a further five points back in third.
In the opening event, New South Wales’ Ewan clocked the fastest flying lap ahead of McManus and Victorian Jack Cummings. Alex Morgan (VIC) claimed the points race ahead of Ewan and Jesse Kerrison (QLD).
In the elimination race, Ewan recorded a skillful victory recovering from a mid-race mishap that saw the pocket rocket display great bke-handling skills to remain upright after clipping an opponent’s wheel.
“I am happy where I am at right now, I didn’t know what to expect coming in here after worlds,” said Ewan.
“This is my first time in the (rainbow) jersey and I guess now I am a little bit more marked now, but I’ll take it,” he added.
Reigning junior women’s world champion Taylah Jennings found the going tough and will head into the final three events in third place. Victoria’s Imogen Jelbart leads on 12 points, one point ahead of Tasmania’s Georgia Baker on 13 points, with Jennings on 14 points.
Jennings, who suffered facial lacerations in a training accident last week, started strongly with the Queenslander the only rider to break the 15-second mark for the flying lap. Her time of 14.918 was too good for West Australia’s Tian Beckett (15.191) and Jelbart (15.420).
South Australian Jessica Mundy took the points race ahead of Jennings, with Baker taking third place before she turned the tables in the elimination race, winning from Canberra’s Allison Rice and Mundy.
“I hope that I can get my head back in the game and do a lot better tomorrow,” said Jennings who claimed the omnium in a perfect performance by winning all six events at the world championships in August.
“There is definitely heaps of pressure wearing this rainbow jersey, and everyone is watching me to see what I can do, so it’s difficult.
“But it is also a pleasure and a privilege to wear,” added Jennings.
The omnium continues on Friday with the individual pursuit, scratch race and time trial. The three-day track carnival runs through to Saturday when the Madison crown will be decided.
The Championships are a key lead up event for the 2012 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Los Angeles in February and the Track World Championships being staged in Melbourne next April and for the London 2012 Paralympic and Olympic Games.
Cycling Australia Para-cycling and Omnium National Championships
• Thursday 15 & Friday 16 December
• Sessions: 9.30am & 6:30pm.
• Tickets: Morning session entry is free. Evening session tickets available at the door for the Omnium and Para-cycling Championships. Evening sessions $10 for adults; $5 for kids (U17) and will be available at the door
Cycling Australia Madison National Championship
• Saturday 17 December
• 6:30 pm
• Tickets: from $10-$25 and available online at vic.cycling.org.au