Posted by Editoress on 04/7/12
Day One Recap:
Newcomers to the Omnium scene, Australian Annette Edmondson and Great Britain’s Laura Trott set an early mark by claiming the fastest times for the flying lap. Other top contenders, Sarah Hammer (USA) and two-time defending champion Tara Whitten (Canada) were fourth and sixth, respectively.
The points race mixed things up a little, with some of the lower ranked riders allowed to take a relatively easy lap on the field. Germany’s Lisa Brennauer, Czech Republic’s Jarmila Machacova, Venezuela’s Angie Gonzalez Garcia and Japan’s Kanako Kase stole the show, but of the four, Brennauer was the biggest threat to the overall with a 15th place finish from round one. Of the contenders, Edmondson managed fifth place. Whitten was heavily marked which limited her chances to accrue points, and finished 11th.
In the Elimination, Whitten recovered with a strong performance to finish fourth, but Laura Trott dominated to claim the win and share the overall lead with Edmondson heading into Day Two.
Omnium standings after round three:
Annette Edmondson 11 points
Laura Trott 11
Sarah Hammer 21
Tara Whitten 21
Evgenia Romanyuta (Russia) 24
Event 4: Individual Pursuit
The top five contenders for the overall dominated the Individual Pursuit. Whitten was the clear standout, posting a 3:30.011, which was over 1.6 seconds faster than second placed Sarah Hammer. It was also the fastest time ever for an Individual Pursuit on Australian soil, besting Edmondson’s previous mark set in January. Edmondson was the weaker of the pursuiters, finishing fourth and allowing Trott to move clear by a point on the overall tally.
Omnium standings after round four:
Laura Trott 14 points
Annette Edmondson 15
Tara Whitten 22
Sarah Hammer 23
Evgenia Romanyuta 29
Event 5: 40 Lap Scratch Race
The Scratch Race was delayed by handlebar issues for Cuban rider Marlies Mejias Garcia. Replacement bars were eventually fitted, and attacks began early after the race started. Ukraine’s Svitlana Galyuk led the first move, and was later joined by Mexico’s Sofia Arreola Navarro, Belgian’s Jolien D’Hoore, German Lisa Brennauer and Romanyuta. The Russian was the biggest threat - sitting in fifth place overall - but there seemed to be little concern for the break from the top four leaders. Whitten was once again closely marked by Hammer, with Edmondson and Trott also keeping a close watch on the Canadian. The break was reabsorbed into the bunch with 25 to go.
With 17 laps remaining a major move went off the front, consisting of Venezuelan Angie Sabrina Gonzalez Garcia, Arreola Navarro, Japan’s Kanako Kase, and D’Hoore. Three laps later, Mejias Garcia made the most of her new bars by bridging across to the move with Spaniard Leire Olaberria Dorronsoro and Chinese Taipei rider Mei Yu Hsiao. The seven riders combined well, aided by some indifference from the main bunch.
As the laps counted down, it seemed that the seven would eventually lap the field. Eager to protect their overall standings, Kiwi Jo Kiesanowski, Czech Jarmila Machacova and China’s Li Huang all tried to bridge across, each stuck in no man’s land between the two major groups on the track.
With five laps remaining Edmondson hit the main bunch to reel in some of the field. She was closely marked by Hammer, Whitten and Trott. With three laps remaining Hammer took control, finding her first taste of fresh air for the event as she led the main field through the string of riders. With the seven breakaway riders still out in front, Spain’s Olaberria Dorronsoro took the overall win, but Hammer led the leaders home, with Kiesanowski splitting Hammer and Whitten, to allow Hammer to draw clear from Whitten by a point. Edmondson finished one place behind Trott.
Omnium standings after round five:
Laura Trott 27
Annette Edmondson 29
Sarah Hammer 32
Tara Whitten 33
Evgenia Romanyuta 41
Event 6: 500m Time Trial
In order to achieve a more favourable Canadian outcome, Whitten needed to beat Hammer in the time trial event to secure bronze. Even with finishing on the same number of points, Whitten’s strong Pursuit result would have overtaken Hammer on the overall standings.
Given the sprinting strengths of Trott and Edmondson, it seemed unlikely to be able unseat the top two from securing gold and silver. But could the order be reversed? Edmondson would need to not only beat Trott, but for three other riders to ride a faster time than Trott (but slower than Edmondson). A tough task.
The first decider came for Whitten and Hammer. Hammer seemed to be fired up from her strong finish in the Scratch Race, and came out of the start gates with a look that would stop a kangaroo in its tracks. Whitten, however had the faster starting time, but only just. By the second lap Hammer had wound her gear up and led the effort home with a time of 36.171. Whitten’s time of 36.291 wasn’t enough. Hammer checked the scoreboard to confirm the result and furiously pumped her fist. This bronze would be Team USA’s first medal of the Championships. For Whitten, it would mean a fourth place finish, her ‘worst’ result since the Omnium was introduced to the World Championship program. [See our interview with Tara Whitten Here]
In the battle for gold, Trott led out from the start, and continued to increase the gap to Edmondson, finishing with a 35.173 and claiming the fastest time for the event. Edmondson’s time was good enough for second in the event, and also confirmed her silver medal overall. With Trott turning twenty years old in 16 days, and Edmondson only four months older, the youngsters have set a new benchmark in the Omnium.
Combined with Hammer and Whitten who are close on their heels, there is currently daylight between the top four and the rest of the field. How the cycling world will respond to this new order will make for interesting viewing come London.
Final Omnium standings:
1 Laura Trott 28 points
2 Annette Edmondson 31
3 Sarah Hammer 36
4 Tara Whitten 39
5 Li Huang (China) 53
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