Nolan Hoffman (Team Abantu) and Maroesjka Matthee were crowned the 2014 SA Omnium Champions at the Bellville Velodrome in the Western Cape at the weekend.
The Omnium discipline of Track cycling is made up of six events, with the greatest point-scorer taking the top honours, and the national title.
Hoffman and Matthee won all five of the events – 15km Scratch, 4km Pursuit, Elimination, 1km TT and the 250m flying lap – prior to the event finale, which was the 40km Points race.
“With points being awarded to the top 20 riders in each of those 5 events (40-1st, 38-2nd 36-3rd) riders then carry their accumulative points into the Points Race where a sprint every 10 laps awards the top five riders across the line an additional five points, three, two and one points to their overall tally,” explained Team Abantu Team Principal Dean Edwards. “In addition, if a rider laps the bunch he is awarded 20 points, which is added to their respective tallies. Hoffman went into the 40km Points race with a full compliment of 200 points having won all five of the events prior.”
Hoffman’s dominant performance throughout the Championship event saw him claim the overall victory ahead of his teammate David Maree, and Western Cape’s Shameeg Salie. Maree rode a superb Points race, climbing from 5th to 2nd place in the overall standings. An exciting challenge for third place ensued between Team Abantu’s Kellan Gouveris, Salie and Evan Carstens (Team Giant). Salie gained the most points, finishing third overall after a courageous performance.
“It's always great to race at home and be able to win in front of my home crowd, especially an SA title,” said Hoffman. “I'm pretty pleased with my performances here and I’m starting to find some very good form. I am very focused for the upcoming road races and really looking forward to the rest of this season.”
In the women’s races, Matthee also displayed dominant performances throughout, with Mikayla Oliver playing second fiddle in the heats. Danielle Norman finished in third place. Matthee and Oliver both took a lap in the Scratch and Points races, increasing their tally substantially. It was the first time that Matthee had competed in a National Omnium Championship event, after only having competed in two Omnium events earlier this year, when the South African team toured Malaysia.
“I knew that Mikayla would be my strongest competition, but we need some stronger women to compete,” said Matthee. “Being an Olympic event, and for any rider not in a Team Pursuit, the Omnium is an exciting discipline and you have to train for everything. You have to be fast and super fit, plus you need to be strong on endurance. I have the natural speed, but I need to work on the endurance element.”
In the Junior Omnium, Joshua Buchel claimed the national title ahead of Mitchell Sparrow, with Carl Bonthuys finishing third. The 2014 Omnium Championship title also went to Wade Theunissen in the under-16 category, Martin van Wyk in the 35-44 age category, and to Wayne Roberts in the 45+ age category.
Summary of Results – 2014 SA Omnium Champs
1 Nolan Hoffman 247 Total Points
2 David Maree 208
3 Shameeg Salie 192
1 Maroesjka Matthee 310 Total Points
2 Mikayla Oliver 216
3 Danielle Norman 169
1 Joshua Buchel 233 Total Points
2 Mitchell Sparrow 193
3 Carl Bonthuys 169
1 Wade Theunissen 220 Total Points
2 Joshua van Wyk 210
3 Damean Oosthuizen 196
1 Martin van Wyk 231 Total Points
2 Christonie Geldenhuys 207
3 Chrispin Fourie 207
1 Wayne Roberts 220 Total Points
2 Roberto Gnudi 198
3 Andrew Arendse 191
Photo credit: www.chrishitchcock.co.za