World Track Championships 2009
Omnium - Josie Tomic (Australia) at 19, proves she is the most consistent.
Josie Tomic (AUS) at only 19 years of age became the first Woman to be awarded the World Omnium Championship jersey today in Poland.
Tomic, fresh from the success of the Bronze medal in the Team Pursuit, proved to be the most consistent over the five events. Tara Whitten (Canada) had to settle for Silver and Yvonne Hijgenaar (NED) the Bronze,
Given this is the first time at World Track Championships it was difficult to tell who would end up being the World Champion. Tomic, who had won the Australian Championships in this event was placed well in all of the events, She finished 6th in the Sprint, 8th in the Scratch, 4th in the Pursuit, 1st in the Points race and 7th in the 500m TT ahead of Tara Whitten (Canada) and Yvonne Hijgenaar (NED), who is the current reigning European Omnium Champion.
Tomic lined up in the points race knowing she needed to perform well there to have any chance of making the podium and she rode it brilliantly winning the second and last of the four sprints to move her onto 19 points and tied in the lead with Canadian Tara Whitten going into the final 500m time trial to decide the winner. Sitting in second place was the Ukraine's Lesya Kalitovska on 20 points and not far behind time trial specialist Yvonne Hijgenaar of the Netherlands on 25 points..
This is the first time the Omnium event features at a World Track Championship level for the women. It has been featured during the World cup classic in 2008/2009 very successfully. The event comprises of five events, testing the competitors across both sprinting and endurance disciplines.
The Omnium can be considered the event which determines the best all-round track cyclist as the disciplines feature both sprint events and endurance events. The ultimate sprinter or the rider with the best condition is unlikely to win the Omnium. The one that has the ability to combine and be competitive in both styles of disciplines is the rider who is most likely to win the event. Normally the Omnium suits endurance riders with higher top speed or stronger sprints, or sprinters who can do longer distance track events.
The event consists of the following disciplines:
Points are recorded in reverse order. The rider who finishes first in an event receives one point, the second rider will get two points and so on. The rider with the fewest points after all events is the omnium overall winner. When two riders are tied on points the recorded time of the time trials will make the difference between the riders. A rider needs to have ridden and completed every event in the Omnium. When a rider fails to enter or finish one of the disciplines he or she is recorded as "Did not finish".
Josie Tomic (AUS) the reigning Australian omnium champion, began her gold medal campaign with a personal best time in the flying 200m time trial, the first of the five races that make up the omnium. That put her in sixth place in the 16 rider field. But her rides in the scratch race (eighth) and the pursuit (fourth) were not what she had hoped for and at the end of the afternoon session she was sitting ten points off the lead in fifth place overall and not feeling confident. "It's been a very tough day, a long day and I'm glad to see the end of it really," said Tomic after receiving the rainbow jersey of World Champion. "I went back to the hotel (in the break after the first three events) and refocussed and then when I came back I was really on a mission and I'm happy I pulled it off."
Tomic added, "The 500 is definitely not one of my best events but I was actually more concerned about Yvonne because she only had to beat me by five (actually seven) places or more to actually win," said Tomic who was in the last heat to race. "So when I saw all the other girls putting up really good times I started to get a little nervous but I had a really good start and managed to pull it off."
She was right to be concerned about Hijgenaar who won the 500m round with a time of 35.242sec but Tomic's time of 36.750 put her seventh and gave her a total of 26 points one points clear of the final tally of both Whitten and Hijgenaar who both finished with 27 points. Whitten was awarded the silver medal and Hijgenaar the bronze.
Tomic's final race came after her team mates Cameron Meyer, 21, and Leigh Howard, 19, had pulled off a desperate last ditch attack in the 200 lap (50km) Madison to storm to the silver medal position on the podium. "The boys defintely inspired me," said Tomic. "It looked like they were in trouble in the race and then they took a lap. Cameron always inspires me whenever I see him race so I was definitely motivated and I wanted to go one better."
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>
Want to contact WomensCycling.net?
The WomensCycling.net email address is
To contact the webmaster, the address is :
Type this address into the "To" line of a new email message in your email programme.
The WomensCycling.net email address is displayed as a graphic in order to reduce the amount of 'spam' email received from programmes which 'crawl' the internet for sites with addresses displayed in text and then overwhelm that address with junk, or even forge the address in junk messages that they generate and send to others. Sorry for any inconvenience this approach causes you.
WomensCycling.net 2004 - 2010©