UCI adds elimination to Olympic Omnium
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

UCI adds elimination to Olympic Omnium

by Ben Atkins at 4:14 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track
In order to put more of an endurance emphasis than at the last three World Championships, and to make it more attractive to the public, the UCI has increased race distances and added an elimination race to the Omnium event at the Olympic Games in London 2012. The event will now consist of six disciplines – four endurance and two sprint – instead of the previous five.

The Omnium has been introduced into the Olympic programme as part of an event shake-up in response to demands from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for gender parity. At the last Olympic Games in Beijing, men competed for seven medals and the women just three, in London in 2012 both sexes will compete for five: the individual sprint, team sprint, Keirin and team pursuit as well as the Omnium.

The elimination – also known as “devil take the hindmost”, or “devil” for short – is run along similar lines to the points race, except that the last rider to cross the line on each specified sprint lap is eliminated. At the end of the race, the remaining riders sprint for the win. The event’s addition could be seen as a move to placate six-day riders, who have bemoaned the loss of the Madison; both events are staples of the six-day races.

In addition to the new events, the distances on the other five are increased to fit in with the individual events in World Cups. The Points and Scratch races are doubled in length from 15 to 30km and 7.5 to 15km respectively for the men, and 10 to 20km and 5 to 10km respectively for the women. The pursuit races are upped to 4km for the men and 3km for the women, which brings them into line with their respective distances as individual races.

In addition, the sprint event is increased from 200 to 250m (one lap), which is an event also common in six-day races; the kilometre and 500m time trials are the sole events to be left untouched.

Flying lap (250-metre time trial)
Points race (men: 30 km, women: 20 km)
Individual pursuit (men: 4 km, women: 3 km)
Scratch race (men: 15 km, women: 10 km)
Kilometre time trial (men), 500-metre time trial (women)
Elimination race (24 starters)

Changes to the event’s structure will come into force after the 2010 World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark on March 24th to 28th.

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