Hammer scores omnium silver to wrap up record-setting track worlds
Sarah Hammer(Temecula, Calif./OUCH) moved from fourth to second place in the women’s omnium to earn the silver on the final day of competition at the UCI Track World Championships. With Sunday’s finish combined with gold in the individual pursuit and silver in the team pursuit, Hammer became the first American woman ever to earn three medals in a single cycling world championship.
“Yesterday was a little bit of a rough day for me, but the nature of the omnium is to be able to kind of re-set after a bad event,” explained Hammer. “My goal coming into it was to be able to get top three and that was achieved after a hard fought battle. I’m super pumped to have been able to win the individual pursuit, to have taken silver with my teammates and be able to win another silver today.”
As expected, Hammer started out the morning on a good note, taking first in the individual pursuit portion of the omnium with a time of 3:34.012. The win moved the four-time individual pursuit world champion up into bronze medal position. Unfortunately for the American, Tara Whitten (CAN) was second, putting the Canadian in first place by a comfortable seven points with only two events remaining.
Just as in the points race last night, Dutchwoman Kirsten Wild, who was sitting in silver-medal position just ahead of Hammer, marked the American’s every move in the 10-kilometer omnium scratch race. Halfway through the scratch race, omnium leader Whitten took off and was able to lap the field with Tatsiana Sharakova (BLR) in tow; seemingly sealing the omnium victory. Hammer made a break with three to go and was able to out run all but Evgenya Romanyuta (RUS) for fourth. Wild however finished just behind Hammer in fifth, allowing the American to close the gap on the silver medal by only one point.
Heading into the time trial, Hammer sat a single point behind Wild, a known sprint and road race specialist. Hammer nailed a 36.204 over the 500 meters to finish fourth in the final omnium event. It was not enough to overcome Whitten, who finished fifth in the event, but handily earned her the silver.
The newest addition to the Olympic track cycling slate, the omnium is best described as the decathlon of track cycling; stringing together several events to award a best all-around rider. Introduced to the World Championships in 2007, the women’s omnium includes the following events in order: the flying lap, the 20-kilometer points race, the elimination race, the 3,000-meter individual pursuit, the 10-kilometer scratch race and the 500-meter time trial. Following the completion of each event, a rider is assigned a point value based on where she placed in that event (a first-place finish is worth one point, second-place finish is worth two points and so on). After all five events, the rider with the lowest cumulative point total is declared the winner.
Then United States wraps up these world championships with three total medals.
A two-hour show on the Universal Sports television network will re-cap all the action Sunday, April 3rd at 9:00 p.m. EST and again at 1:00 a.m. EST.
Check the link for the full scheduleand more information on the UCI Track World Championships. Also, check usacycling.orgfor daily PHOTOS and brief, behind the scenes VIDEOSof all the action.
UCI Track World Championships
March 23-27, 2011
Women’s Omnium – Individual Pursuit
1. Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./OUCH) 3:34.012
2. Tara Whitten (CAN) 3:36.219
3. Leire Olaberria Dorronsoro (ESP) 3:38.880
Women’s Omnium – 10-kilometer Scratch Race
1. Tatsiana Sharakova (BLR)
2. Tara Whitten (CAN)
3. Evgenya Romanyuta (RUS)
4. Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./OUCH)
5. Kirsten Wild (NED)
Women’s Omnium – 500-meter Time Trial
1. Laura Trott (GBR) 35.799
2. Marlies Mejias Garcia (CUB) 36.015
3. Leire Olaberria Dorronsoro (ESP) 36.143
4. Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./OUCH) 36.204
5. Tara Whitten (CAN) 36.231
Women’s Omnium Final Results
1. Tara Whitten (CAN) 23
2. Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./OUCH) 31
3. Kirsten Wild (NED) 42