With the omnium last week confirmed as part of the futiure Olympic track cycling programme, it’s clear that we’re going to hear a lot more about the event, often described as cycling’s answer to the decathlon, in the run-up to London 2012.
Derided last week by Geraint Thomas, the second fastest man ever at the 4km Individual Pursuit, which has been dropped by the IOC, as “a joke event, what you do at Maindy Track in Cardiff as a 12-year-old,” top youth riders are being given the chance to prove the Team Sky rider wrong in a series of three events up the M4 at the Newport Velodrome in the New Year.
Welsh Cycling, along with Newport Velo, has announced that it is hosting a three-race omnium series for experienced Youth A, B and C riders, with racing taking place on Saturdays 23 January, 20 February and 20 March.
Called the Icebreaker Omnium Series, according to the Welsh Cycling, “the aim of the events is to give all of the riders a regular early season competition ahead of the summer racing calendar. The events are aimed to be fast and furious with no pursuits or sprint qualifying with the aim of avoiding riders sitting around for long periods of time.”
Event organiser Michael Heaven said, “This is going to be an exciting series of events aimed at giving our track stars of the future a real opportunity to gain some bunch race experience and build their early season fitness. We have a superb facility here in Newport and what better way to show it off than with some non stop racing action.”
Special guests will be in attendance, including Team GB Sprint Coach and multiple World Masters Champion Geoff Cooke and Double World and European Junior Champion, Becky James, while the Mayor of Newport will be giving out prizes on February 20th.
Spot prizes will be on offer throughout the series, plus medals for each round and trophies for the overall series.
Organisers say that Team GB’s success in recent years has helped fuel a boom in youth track cycling in recent years, and anticipate that up-and-coming riders such as Matt Cross, Rebecca Hunt and Amy Roberts will take part in the series.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.