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Thread: My first Omnium

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    Last decade's model ijunes's Avatar
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    My first Omnium

    So after 3 sessions on the track, I've decided to go ahead and dive into a Cat 4/5 Omnium. So far its a full 24 rider field. I feel pretty confident riding on the track, and aren't too afraid of bumping or crashing. Besides that, I have no idea how a full omnium is run. Maybe I should've gone to watch a couple, but I'm a quick learner anyways.


    Any BFers have some advice?

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    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    1) Neutral lap does not mean slow lap- it means you can't attack. The juniors and 5's tend to forget that and slide down the track. If you watch a 1/2 race the neutral lap is often approaching full race speed.
    2) hold your line at the end of sprints. there may be a lot of people around you and if you swing up you very well might cause a crash
    3) don't try to get out of the way when you die. People behind you will see that you're cooked and go around, if they can't get around then they were just about dead anyway. If you try to get out of the way, you may very well hook/chop someone. Once they're all past, you can move to the pole lane and retire, or move to the pole lane and ride tempo until they catch you (and don't try to get out of the way when they do)
    4) if you're dropped and a break catches you, you can latch on but can't share in the work. the leaders have to do the work and you get a free ride if you can hang on.
    5) read the section of the rulebook on track racing. it will explain the rules about the sprinters lane and scoring and things.
    6) keep your head up and look way ahead-- if you're watching the wheel in front of you, by the time you see something bad happen it's already happened to you and you just haven't hit the deck yet. If you're watching way ahead you can react in time to stay upright
    7) If there's a crash in front of you, steer up track and keep pressure on the pedals. If it's a low speed slide you have to keep pedaling or you'll slide, too. If it's a high speed crash it generally will slide down the track. If you try to go under you're almost guaranteed to be in it, too. If you try to go over, you still might be in it, but there's a pretty good chance you'll clear it.
    8) always look before you move laterally. It could be crowded.


    btw - do you have a bike? did you build up the look? Rentals aren't allowed for racing at HDC.
    Last edited by bitingduck; 02-26-10 at 12:31 PM.
    Track - the other off-road
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  3. #3
    Last decade's model ijunes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitingduck View Post
    1) Neutral lap does not mean slow lap- it means you can't attack. The juniors and 5's tend to forget that and slide down the track. If you watch a 1/2 race the neutral lap is often approaching full race speed.
    2) hold your line at the end of sprints. there may be a lot of people around you and if you swing up you very well might cause a crash
    3) don't try to get out of the way when you die. People behind you will see that you're cooked and go around, if they can't get around then they were just about dead anyway. If you try to get out of the way, you may very well hook/chop someone. Once they're all past, you can move to the pole lane and retire, or move to the pole lane and ride tempo until they catch you (and don't try to get out of the way when they do)
    4) if you're dropped and a break catches you, you can latch on but can't share in the work. the leaders have to do the work and you get a free ride if you can hang on.
    5) read the section of the rulebook on track racing. it will explain the rules about the sprinters lane and scoring and things.
    6) keep your head up and look way ahead-- if you're watching the wheel in front of you, by the time you see something bad happen it's already happened to you and you just haven't hit the deck yet. If you're watching way ahead you can react in time to stay upright
    7) If there's a crash in front of you, steer up track and keep pressure on the pedals. If it's a low speed slide you have to keep pedaling or you'll slide, too. If it's a high speed crash it generally will slide down the track. If you try to go under you're almost guaranteed to be in it, too. If you try to go over, you still might be in it, but there's a pretty good chance you'll clear it.
    8) always look before you move laterally. It could be crowded.


    btw - do you have a bike? did you build up the look? Rentals aren't allowed for racing at HDC.
    wow thx for all the good advce.

    im actually borrowng a khs flite, i'm shopping around for a track bike since my budget actually freed up. I'm just going to put on my road carbon tubular and race with a dented spraypainted khs.

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    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ijunes View Post
    wow thx for all the good advce.

    im actually borrowng a khs flite, i'm shopping around for a track bike since my budget actually freed up. I'm just going to put on my road carbon tubular and race with a dented spraypainted khs.
    Make sure you have a skewer that tightens with a hex key instead of a quick release. QRs aren't allowed in mass start races on the track.
    Track - the other off-road
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    Diseased Unicorn
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitingduck View Post
    4) if you're dropped and a break catches you, you can latch on but can't share in the work. the leaders have to do the work and you get a free ride if you can hang on.
    I was just looking in this thread and I saw your post and I had an unrelated question (sorry, OP!). Can you explain this^? What is a break? It catches you? I'm completely lacking in any knowledge about the drome and rules and such...

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    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RabidUnicorn View Post
    I was just looking in this thread and I saw your post and I had an unrelated question (sorry, OP!). Can you explain this^? What is a break? It catches you? I'm completely lacking in any knowledge about the drome and rules and such...
    It just means that if the lead group of riders lap you, and as they pass by you can get on the back and draft off them. You can't help them stay clear of other riders, however. This is to prevent team tactics, where a rider can drop back deliberately to help a teammate stay clear of other riders. Remember, a lap on this velodrome (HDC) is only 250 meters, so it's quite common for riders to gain laps on other riders.
    Last edited by TejanoTrackie; 02-27-10 at 08:14 PM.

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    omgmarclol omgmarclol's Avatar
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    Yup. A break is exactly what it sounds like. Could be 1 or more people attacking or even just a group of faster riders coming off of the initial pack. And like tejano said, in that instance a break catching you means you would be getting lapped. You then can 'join' that break but you won't be able to pull for them. Not sure if you're familiar with drafting or tactics but it just means you can suck a wheel but not help in the work.

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    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    So how was it?
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

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    Last decade's model ijunes's Avatar
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    my crank threading stripped, so my pedal became loose during first warmup lap, glad i caught it then because i was only 1 lap away from lining up at the rail.

  10. #10
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ijunes View Post
    my crank threading stripped, so my pedal became loose during first warmup lap, glad i caught it then because i was only 1 lap away from lining up at the rail.
    yikes! That's not fun to have happen. I once had a set of cranks where the bolts would occasionally start to come loose while racing-- not a good feeling either. Did you stick around to watch? Get your equipment sorted out and come back next time!

    We had a pretty good full field in the 5's, and people mostly rode pretty safely. The 4/5 field sold out thursday night and we decided to split it into 4's and 5's (but didn't announce it) so we could take day-of registrations. The 5's then totally filled up again! And the 4's had a good sized field, too. I didn't see much excess sketchiness in the 5's, though they're still 5's... The older juniors had a few kids who were using a lot more track than they needed to ride in a straight line, but even they started to smooth out by the end of the day.
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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    bidingduck, do you guys race year-round?

    I went to the track yesterday for the first time since November and a 48/16 felt HUGE.

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    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    This is SoCal- the season never ends unless you decide to stop.

    Our normal track racing season starts the second or third week of January, traditionally driven by when we had World Cup events here. We usually had a big event the week after WC, when some of the riders would still be in town. Then the "regular season" starts in February, and transitions into all the various state and velodrome championship races (at 3 different velodromes) plus special events like Far West going into September, and then the racing season ends with Elite Nats in the first week of October. A couple years ago Encino had a crazy race in December that was $10,000 split 5 deep for the winner after 400 laps.

    The main reason we don't have more after that is to take a break from having to organize it. We keep kicking around the idea of having a 24 hour madison some time in November. Regular race training (including tuesday and thursday night intervals and sunday madison practice) are year round except for holidays like thanksgiving, xmas, new years, etc. Check out the schedule-- the complete schedule of the last several years is still up.
    Track - the other off-road
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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    That calendar is FULL!

    It would be nice to have such a facility on the East Coast.

  14. #14
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    I think it's largely the result of Roger being there full time (way back when it opened he must have been working 18 hour days) and having a lot of good ideas for getting more people on the track and keeping things consistent. Most of the afternoon and evening things on the schedule have been there almost since the track opened, but the turnout has steadily increased. 4 years ago a busy tuesday or thursday night session was 35-40 people. Now we're getting close to 100 sometimes (and as long as everyone is following the workout it's pretty safe and runs well).

    The clubs program seems to have been a huge hit, and I think was responsible for a lot of the increase last year and this year. Clubs can rent the track (at certain times), including bikes and instruction, for 2 hours for a pretty reasonable fee. The instruction gets all the riders who are there certified to ride the track (as long as they ride ok), and then members can show up for any regular sessions. It's quite a good deal for the clubs because it's a good team thing, plus it's really fun riding. It's good for the track because it introduces a lot of people to it who might not otherwise think it's available to them. Tuesday and thursday nights are great because it's a predictably good interval workout plus motorpacing, and it doesn't matter what level you ride at. The way it's organized lets everyone from total beginners up to elite riders get a good workout all at the same time.

    (and there sort of is a facility like that on the east coast: T-town, but it does suffer from winter. They're way ahead of us when it comes to getting people to come out and watch racing).
    Last edited by bitingduck; 03-01-10 at 04:55 PM.
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

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