2018 Omnium National Championships Recap

Ashlee Ankudinoff (NSW), Sam Welsford (WA) have claimed elite titles and Alex Martin-Wallace (QLD) and Blake Quick (QLD) the under 19 crowns at the 2018 Cycling Australia Omnium National Championships at DISC Velodrome in Melbourne, Friday December 15.

ELITE MEN

2016 Olympic team pursuit silver medallist Sam Welsford (WA) added the Australian omnium crown to his growing palmares with a dominant victory in Melbourne.

“I am rapt, I have had my eye on this one for a while now, I fell a bit short last year so to get the win this year I am stoked,” remarked Welsford, who adds the green and gold jersey to World Cup and Oceania omnium gold.

“The field was so competitive this year and Cam Meyer eight-time world champion in the bunch, so it was a new experience with that many riders in a points race domestically.

“I picked up the three wins so was in a good place heading into the points race, but anything can happen there and with double points at the end, I couldn’t be complacent.

“I certainly had to be on my A game.”

A dominant display saw him speed away from the field to take out the opening scratch race, before he went on a points taking expedition with Cameron Meyer (WA) in the tempo taking the win, and added the elimination soon after to make it three from three.

In the points race, Welsford was alert to any danger quickly chasing down a threatening five-rider move which included defending champion Alex Porter (WA), plus Jordan Kerby (QLD), Callum Scotson (SA), Ben Harvey (NSW) and Jarrod Drizners (SA) early before setting his eye on picking up points in the sprint.

Porter took the race to Welsford, however when the West Australian unleashed his trademark sprint to claim victory in the penultimate sprint, it gave Welsford a 12-point lead.

Silver went to Porter, with individual pursuit world champion Jordan Kerby snaring bronze having displayed his pursuiting skills by taking a lap with less than 20 laps to go.

Medallists

Gold: Sam Welsford (WA)

Silver: Alex Porter (SA)

Bronze: Jordan Kerby (QLD)

ELITE WOMEN

A history-making ride saw Ashlee Ankudinoff bag a fourth career Australian omnium title in a hotly contested race which saw the final sprint decide all three medals.

“I am pretty happy. I am more hungry than ever especially leading into a Commonwealth Games year,” Ankudinoff said.

“For me to win this is pretty special, any Aussie champions jersey is pretty special to have and wear.”

After finishing eighth in the scratch race, Ankudinoff built across the competition to snare third in the tempo race and fifth in the elimination race to sit third after three of four events just four off the lead of Alex Manly (SA).

In a highly active finale, Ankudinoff made an early move to take a lap with Macey Stewart (TAS), however with the peloton wise to the danger they were quickly reeled in. Josie Talbot (NSW) made the next move, swiftly taking a lap and with it the temporary lead of the race just before the halfway mark.

With three sprints remaining, Ankudinoff held a two-point lead on Talbot and Manly, with a late move by Maeve Plouffe with five to go nearly earning her a medal as the 2017 under 19 champion was cruelly caught with just over a lap to go.

Ankudinoff managed to hold off a late charge from Manly in the final sprint to take second and six points, and with it the gold. Manly claimed silver and Talbot the bronze to repeat their podium positions from a year ago.

“It was right down to the wire and I had to have my wits about me,” Ankudinoff explained. “I had to really focus on which sprints to go for and where everyone else was in the bunch. Because a couple of girls took a lap and that really changed things up.

“It was unfortunate that Nettie (Edmondson), Amy (Cure), and Georgia (Baker) had to pull out due to sickness as it would have been great to race them, but I am still happy to win,” Ankudinoff added.

Medallists

Gold: Ashlee Ankudinoff (NSW) 118

Silver: Alexandra Manly (SA) 114

Bronze: Josie Talbot (NSW) 107

UNDER 19 WOMEN

Queensland’s Alexandra Martin Wallace improved on her silver medal 12 months ago to claim the under 19 women’s title.

“It feels really good to be the Australian omnium champion. I’m happy to go one better than last year,” said Martin-Wallace who finished fifth at the UCI Junior World Championships in Montichiari, Italy.

“I was going better and better each race and it was great to have some good competition as well.”

After winning the opening scratch race the 17-year-old placed fourth in the tempo race and won the elimination to start the points race with a four-point lead.

Untroubled in the points race with her speed in the sprint picking up points to finish on 134 points, 13 clear of silver medallist Sophie Edwards (SA-121), as bronze went to Sarah Gigante (VIC) a further four points behind.

Medallists

Gold: Alexandra Martin-Wallace (QLD) 134

Silver: Sophie Edwards (SA) 121

Bronze: Sarah Gigante (VIC) 117

UNDER 19 MEN

Blake Quick made it a Queensland double taking out the under 19 men’s crown.

“It is my first national title, so it is really special,” said Quick. “I thought I would be in the mix so to win it does make it that bit more special.”

Building on a third-place finish in the scratch race Quick won the tempo race and took fourth in the elimination to hold an eight-point advantage.

The points race saw Quick too quick up points across the sprints building his total to 123 points, 11 clear of his closest rivals. In an intense battle for silver Jensen Plowright (VIC-112) claimed silver on countback having won the final sprint as Mitchell Wright (NSW) took bronze.

Medallists

Gold: Blake Quick (QLD) 123

Silver: Jensen Plowright (VIC) 112

Bronze: Mitchell Wright (NSW) 112