The Omnium sliced up the morning for the Winter Western Tour. One stage, three different events, and some serious points on offer for the Team Competition.
What Is the Omnium in Cycling?
The omnium in track cycling includes four unique events with points available during each event and for the finish in each event. In the 2020* Summer Olympics in Tokyo, organizers included four events:
- the Scratch Race (short race, first rider across the line wins)
- the Tempo Race (points available every 4 laps)
- the Elimination Race (the last rider across the line on certain laps is out)
- the Points Race (points available on certain laps and on the finish line)
The Zwift Omnium
After being the first person in the Zwift Racing world to pull off an omnium last year, Brad organized another beauty. Stage Four’s three events included Zwiftified versions of the Points, Scratch, and a mass start iTT.
Stage 4.1 The Points Race
Taking in 13.7 km of the Richmond UCI Course, the Points race offered up 3 sprints with a neutral 2.0 in between each sprint.
Chris Ostberg dominated the first sprint to nab points ahead of Ted Schneider and Trevor Gibney. Behind those two, however, Dan Yankus and Wes Stocker gave Team Eastwood some serious points after 1 sprint.
Eastwood was again at the head of affairs on Sprint Two, with a thoroughly-caffinated (he prefers Red Bull) Keegan Korienek and a decidedly not Red Bull’ed Ted Scheider going 1-2. Team Django had the depth this time, with Jeb Stone, Ryan DeFour, Jeremey Karel and Ben Sheilds next across the line.
The final sprint, this time up Libby Hill, saw the Dan Yankus put in a ridiculous 1:03 ahead of Al McWilliams, giving Eastwood wins on 2 of the 3 stages. Again, it was Django with the depth, putting 4 riders in the top 6.
Stage 4.2 The Scratch Race
With primes on the second, third, and fourth lap, the scratch race was a juiced-up version of the crit from the Winter is Coming Tour just over a month ago. With most of the field together through the first three laps, there was plenty to fight for in the finale.
After sweeping up 3 of the four primes with Dan Yankus, Team Eastwood saw Joey Bianchini nab the fifth prime. Eastwood picked up top points with Yankus’ effort, 46, with the most consistent rider aside from Yankus being Trevor Gibney, who was second or third for most of the primes. Christ Ostbern buoyed Tuco’s chances behind Gibney, while World Cup Alpine skier (and Swede who randomly joined the club and raced with us!) placed a Bandit’s 4th ahead of Team Django’s top finished Al McWilliams. Ted Schneider capped off the top 5 for Team Eastwood.
The B pen saw Jeb Stone pocket 46 points for Django while a might battle from Keegan Korienek saw him cede just 1 point, but, most importantly, thrash his dad in the process.
In C Pen, Kent McNeil is riding into the shape we all knew he was capable and took the C pen win with 49 points, though Eastwood put Wes Sovis and Jason Johnson 2nd and 3rd.
Stage 4.3 The iTT
It what might be Zwift’s (and the world’s) first mass start individual time trial, climbers finally had their chance. A 3.2 km dash up the Sea to Tree climb, drafting was switched off; you might be on someone’s wheel, but it wasn’t doing you any good.
All riders quickly changed out their road bikes for gravel bikes and, from the gun, Eastwood was committed to going fast. The group stretched almost immediately, with Yankus, a still-hacking-from-COVID-19 Aaron Mahoney, Al McWilliams, Cody Sovis, Ryan DeFour, and Joey B near the front.
Alex Theophilus was the only rider to re-enter the picture, storming into the top 5 and pipping Sovis on the line, but the real race had gone up the road mid-way through the climb. Yankus closed a gap to McWilliams to take yet another win on the day, plus more KOM points. Ol’ Red netted some big points for Django, with Mahoney in for 3rd. Behind Theophilus and Sovis, DeFour barely snuck in ahead of Scheider, with Gibney, Lucas Van Drunen, and Joey B rounding out the top 10.
With points throughout the finishing order, though, strong riders from Wes Haney (22nd), Robert Straw (26th) and Wes Stocker (28th) could turn the tide in the Best of the Rest points and the Team Competition win for Stage 4.
What’s Next: Stage 5
Sunday welcomes plenty of tired legs north to Yorkshire for the Team Pursuit. It’s a hybrid, really, of the team pursuit and a chase race, with an A pen and B pen for the teams and an E pen for Bandits.
While no events on Stage 4 counted for GC, that will be the focus of most riders Sunday. While there are some big gaps after Stage 3, Stage 5 is the last chance to get back within striking distance before a long and hilly finale on Stage 6.