Sunday, November 18, 2012

Track Roundup: Elorriaga takes bronze in Glasgow omnium


After holding the lead for the majority of the day, Unai Elorriaga (Cespa-Euskadi faltered in the kilometer time trial to slip behind both Lucas Liß of Germany and Omnium World Champion Glenn O'Shea to claim bronze at the Glasgow UCI Track World Cup on Saturday. The 32-year-old Elorriaga earned his first international track medal since 2008, where he won the Madison World Cup in Melbourne with partner David Muntaner Juadeda.

In the morning session, competitors in the omnium tackled the 4km individual pursuit and the 15km scratch race. Elorriaga rode a solid 4'32" in the pursuit to get 4th place and mitigated any big losses in points. The fast-paced scratch race was not kind to Elorriaga. Starting off quick and attacks flying, a large group of riders were able to gain a lap though none of the riders were contenders for the overall. After more attacks in the final laps, Elorriaga was not able to contest the final sprint and lost valuable overall points to Liß and O'Shea.

Going into the final event in the evening session, the kilometer TT, Elorriaga possessed a 2 point lead over both Liß and O'Shea, who were equal on points. Liß put in a blistering ride in the 2nd to last heat and set the best overall time. Having to put in a ride of a lifetime in one of his weaker events, Elorriaga fell short by placing 8th and slipping to 3rd in the overall. While there might be dissapointment after the final event, it does signal a return to form for Elorriaga and perhaps brighter prospects for the rest of the track season.


On the women's side, 35-year-old Olympian Leire Olaberria Dorronsoro (Fullgas.org - Gipuzkoa) started in the first 3 events of the women's omnium with a field that includes Olympic and World Champion Laura Trott. The rider hailing from Ikaztegieta started the event off well by placing 2nd in the flying lap by a mere .024 seconds. While she was a bronze medalist in the points race at the 2008 Olympics, Olaberria was only able to manage 10th place.

In the evening session, the women contested the elimination race, which was filled with some thrills and a big spill. On an early sprint lap, German Mieke Kröger went down hard on the boards after being bumped, which neutralized the race for a period as she was helped off. When the race was restarted, the pace was frantic, with riders at the back being stuck and hardly being able to advance. Olaberria was eliminated in 12th place thus giving her a difficult challenge for her to overcome if she wants to get into medal contention. She is the current Spanish champion in the pursuit and scratch race which might be able to give her a boost in the standings as both are being contested tomorrow along with the 500m time trial.

Photos:
1) extebarria.net
2) Marcel Segessemann

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