Laura Trott leads London 2012 Olympic cycling omnium competition

PUBLISHED: 22:24 06 August 2012 | UPDATED: 22:44 06 August 2012

Great Britain's Laura Trott celebrates at the Olympic Velodrome [Picture by Dave Shopland/NOPP]

Great Britain's Laura Trott celebrates at the Olympic Velodrome [Picture by Dave Shopland/NOPP]

Dave Shopland

OLYMPIC track cycling gold medallist Laura Trott leads the London 2012 omnium entering the second day of competition at the Velodrome.

The Team GB women's team pursuit Olympic champions Dani King, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell [Picture: David Ashdown/NOPP]The Team GB women's team pursuit Olympic champions Dani King, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell [Picture: David Ashdown/NOPP]

The 20-year-old Welwyn Wheelers rider won two of the opening three disciplines of the six-event omnium and is on course for her second gold of the Games.

Midway through the two-day competition – cycling’s multi-event equivalent of athletics’ heptathlon – world champion Laura is tied on 12 points with American Sarah Hammer.

However, the Hertfordshire golden girl leads the first Olympic women’s omnium on countback, having come first in two of the three events so far.

Australian Annette Edmondson lies third on 17 points, with Canada’s Tara Whitten fourth overnight on 18 points and Jolien D’Hoore, from Belgium, fifth on 20 points.

The Women’s Omnium explained

The Omnium consists of the following six events:

1) Flying Lap: This is a straight 250m time trial against the clock.

2) 20km Points Race: Riders score points for sprints which occur every 10 laps during the race, and for lapping the field.

3) Elimination Race: A bunch race with an intermediate sprint every two laps. The last rider each time is eliminated.

4) 3,000m Individual Pursuit: Two riders start at opposite sides of the track and race against the clock.

5) Scratch Race: A straightforward race for all competitors over 10km. The first woman to cross the line wins.

6) Time Trial: Each competitor rides 500m aiming for the fastest time.

“I feel really strong,” said Laura after day one.

“I did a lot of work for the group races and hope for the best for tomorrow now.”

Already an Olympic champion in the women’s team pursuit, the Team GB cycling star won the opening flying lap 250m time trial this afternoon (Monday).

The 16th rider to go, she clocked a blistering time of 14.057 seconds to beat the rest of the field by 0.001 seconds.

Next up was the 80-lap points race, with Laura finishing 10th in one of her weaker events to drop down to third overall.

However, she showed her class in the day’s final discipline, the elimination race, to finish top of the standings at the halfway point.

With the last rider of the sprint every two laps eliminated, Laura rode a near perfect race to stay clear of trouble in the opening stages.

In the end, the final two left on track were home favourite Trott and then competition leader Hammer.

Showing tremendous tactical nous and an amazing turn of speed, the petite British girl stormed past her rival from the United States to win the race to rapturous applause from the Velodrome crowd.

Tomorrow (Tuesday), Laura faces the 3,000m individual pursuit at around 10.19am.

She’ll then face the 10km scratch race in the afternoon at 4.07pm, before the deciding 500m time trial, which starts around 4.53pm.

In each event, the winner gets one point, the second-placed rider gets two points, the third three points, and so on.

At the end of all six events, the rider with the lowest total score is the winner.

Laura, who started her competitive cycling career with Gosling-based Welwyn Wheelers, won the women’s team pursuit gold with Team GB compatriots Dani King and Joanna Rowsell on Saturday evening in a world record time.

That victory is now pictured on a first class stamp and a postbox in Laura’s hometown of Cheshunt has been painted gold.

If she stays clear of the field in the omnium – an event in which she is the current world champion – her face will grace another stamp and the gold paint will come out once more.


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