The South African National Omnium Track Championships saw some of South Africa’s finest track athletes contesting for the national title at the Bellville Velodrome in the Western Cape from 4-5 November. The Elite Men and Women were able to gain all-important UCI points in their categories to enable them to gain qualification for World Cups, World Championships and ultimately the Olympic Games.
The Velodrome has seen many international, national and provincial cycling events held on its Olympic size track but during the two days of the Omnium Championships, they were arguably the most exciting of all.
The Omnium, which consists of six separate events that require specific and diverse skills, was hosted by Western Province Cycling Association with WP Pedal Power Association coming on board as sponsors.
Retaining the championship Elite Men’s title this year was Team Abantu’s Nolan Hoffman, who seemed set for the title right up until the start of the final event, the Points race. But several attacks from Evan Carstens (Team Giant), Kellan Gouveris, Steve van Heerden and Jean Spies saw Hoffman under constant pressure. His outstanding performance resulted in him taking the title ahead of Morne van Niekerk in second and Kellan Gouveris in third.
The Women’s Open Category Championship title was open for the taking in the absence of defending champion Maroesjka Mathee. The tussle between Elfriede Wolfaardt and Elisa Gianchino went down to the wire and it was Wolfaardt whose stamina shone through as she powered away from a frantically chasing group to secure a hard fought victory.
Star in the making Jessica Gerber finished in 5th place and was awarded the Junior Championship title.
The Junior Men’s race saw outstanding performances by Bradley Gouveris, Damean Oosthuizen and Daniyal Matthews, receiving the gold, silver and bronze medals respectively. Racing was once again intense as the young men put on a fierce display of racing with the lead changing several times throughout.
In the Under 16 Boys’ race, stars of the future Abdul Sauls, Jarrad Clark and Divan Barnard battled it out to secure the first three positions. Abdul was in great form and secured four first place positions.
Bestmed-ASG’s 15-year-old starlet, Ashleigh Parsons, claimed gold medals in her 7,5km scratch race, 250m flying lap, 2000m individual pursuit and 500m time-trial, thus claiming the overall champion’s jersey, just one point ahead of Jessica Brown in the u16 Girls Category.
Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were claimed by Capetonians Mark-Lister Petersen, Faizel Thomas and Chrispin Fourie respectively in the Men’s 35+ category. In the Men’s 45+ category, the overall title winner was Martin van Wyk, followed closely by Bruce Viljoen, both from Gauteng. The third overall position was claimed by Cape Town’s John Moss.
Cycling SA Track Commission Director, Johan Smith said: “This was definitely one of the best Omnium Track Champs in recent years. We had the best track athletes in the country competing.
“All of the races were at top speed and nobody rode away, which made for thrilling entertainment a smost often the winners were determined only right at the very end. It was very well competed and a great success. Next year, we will be hosting the Omnium Champs together with National Track Champs, so they will no longer be staged separately.”
Summary of Results – 2015 SA National Omnium Track Cycling Championships
*Results listed as per http://www.wpcycling.com/track-news/sa-omnium-track-championships-final-results/