Track racing! I had forgotten what a rush it is, as well as a mental game due to the shortness of the events along with an abundant amount of time in-between. We used the new Omnium format, same six events, with a twist at the end that is supposed to spice things up until the very last lap. Here is the order of events with a small explanation for those not familiar with the terms-
15 kilometer scratch race– Just a race to the finish, nothing special in this one.
4 kilometer individual pursuit– This one is tough at altitude (about 6,000feet).
Elimination race– After one neutral lap the last rider across the finish line on every lap is pulled, slowly dwindling the pack down. Not a long race, though it more than makes up for it in intensity!
1 Kilometer TT– Ow…
Flying Lap– You get a few laps to build up speed, staying at the topmost section of the track until the bell rings, then a smooth arc to the black line where depending on the track length is usually less than 20 seconds(for a 333meter track, sub 15 second for a 250meter).
40 Kilometer points race– Sprint every 10 laps with points running 4 deep (5,3,2,1). If you lap the field you get 20 points.
The new system has all of your points added up (40 for an event win going down by 2 points every placing) with the points race being a heavier decider because all of the points you accumulate in that race are just added on to your total tally. If there are some racers just shy of the leaders points it has the potential to be a very exciting race!
Now for how the race went… I placed 9th in the scratch race, I was in a great position heading into the final laps, unfortunately, I got boxed in on the bell lap unable to go due to not being aggressive enough.
I ended the pursuit in 12th, not what I was hoping for. With all things considered (used training wheels, no skinsuit) it wasn’t too bad, while still acclimating to the altitude.
In the Elimination race I had a dig off the front to stay away from the danger of being caught out, it worked for about two laps, where they swept me up and I dug myself a hole I couldn’t get out of by staying near the black line and being pinched out.
Disappointing is a good word to describe how the Kilo TT went for me. After false starting on the first run and having a mechanical issue on my second try I was given a DNF and not able to gain any points whatsoever. As for the flying lap an improvement could have been made by staying closer to the walls at the top of the track, gaining more momentum when the sprint started. I did do one in training so I know how “fun” this event is.
40 kilometers on the track is quite a while, seeing as there is no way to get water or stop pedaling for the matter it is definitely a different animal compared to the sprints, and that is why the omnium is so great. It’s about balancing pure speed with endurance, right in-between a Mo Farah and Usain Bolt. My plan was to wait a sprint or two and go for a lap, which at one point was a possibility but the lungs and legs finally said no to the constant attacking. At altitude, if you go in the red, it’s damn hard to get out of and be able to keep pushing. This happened quite a few times after sprints and a couple of attacks, causing me to take it a little easier for a few laps. Other than that I felt relatively good and being able to attack with that pace was a great sign. 9th place overall in the omnium (not many people raced, but it was quality). I know can be greatly improved upon. Hopefully by Nationals in Early August! Thanks for the read.