O'Shea scores omnium bronze in drama filled finale
2012 omnium world champion Glenn O'Shea has grabbed the bronze medal in the omnium at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Minsk, Belarus after a drama filled finale.
After five of the six omnium rounds it was a three man race with 23 year old O'Shea and New Zealand's Aaron Gate atop the rankings on 17 points each and Olympic Champion, Lasse Hansen of Denmark only two points behind in third.
It all came down to the final kilometre time trial where Hansen clocked an impressive 1:02.437 for his kilometre time trial putting the pressure on both Gate and O'Shea to deliver over the final four laps to decide the medals.
The Kiwi was out of the gate without mishap and posted a sizzling 1:02.271 to hit the lead. But on the back straight O'Shea threw his arm in the air to indicate he had a problem.
"I came out of the gate and did something to the back wheel, I think I might have broke it or something and I think it was a good start," said O'Shea who then had to deal with the confusion as officials firstly agreed he could restart immediately but then changed their minds and directed him to wait until after the women's point race medal ceremony was completed. "But at the end of the day it probably wouldn't have mattered in the end result."
Gate's time gave him the gold medal with 18 points, three clear of silver medallist Hansen. O'Shea rode the fifth best time on his second kilometre attempt and finished third on 22 points.
Cycling Australia Endurance Coach, Matthew Gilmore, agrees the mishap had little influence on the outcome.
"We were actually hoping for a quicker restart purely because he was ready to go, he was activated but to be perfectly honest Aaron Gate in particular today was in a class of his own," said Gilmore. "Gate has a great ride in the IP (individual pursuit), very solid in scratch race and pulled out a blistering time in the time trial.
"All in all I think Glenn can be very pleased the way he's bounced back particularly after the Olympic Games. I'm very pleased for Glenn and although he's slightly disappointed he's still happy with his result."
"The two guys in front of me were well deserved of where they came so I'm really happy with bronze," said a gracious O'Shea who focussed this year on improving his bunch race performances.
"In the timed events I was probably a little bit off or around the same and I expected that and hoped to be better in the bunch races which I was," he explained. "The last couple of months I've probably struggled a little bit where I've been working really hard in the bunch races and wondering where the training's going but I've come here and I'm really happy with how I went and to be honest I don't think I did a lot wrong.
"Gate showed in the timed events how good he was," said O'Shea. "It's the first time he's ridden the omnium so he's obviously going to be a contender in three years time which I hope to be as well. I should get to know him well by then; this year we're riding in the same road team."
O'Shea claimed a gold medal as a member of the triumphant pursuit team on the opening day of competition and has another chance to shine tomrrow when he teams with fellow team pursuit gold medallist Alexander Edmondson in the Madison final.
"When you're a 'jack of all trades' like Glenn is that comes with the territory," said Gilmore of O'Shea's heavy trace schedule. "They'll give it a real good nudge tomorrow, they're both very smart bike riders in Madison, well schooled and I can see a really good result."
"Hopefully me and Alex Edmondson can have a good one there," said O'Shea. "We'll be aiming for the top spot, we've ridden a couple of times together and we'll just see what happens."
In the women's omnium Annette Edmondson, who claimed silver in the team pursuit and bronze in the individual pursuit, got off to a great start by winning the flying lap round. She lost a little ground in the points race where she placed eighth alowing American Sarah Hammer and Poland's Katarzyna Pawlowska to move ahead of her on the ranking.
The third round for the women was the elimination race that came soon after the men's omnium was decided and it also proved a heart stopper for the Australian camp when a clash of wheels midway through the race brought Edmondson and Pawlowska crashing down.
"It's actually the first time that I've been to a World Cup or World Championships and one of our Australians has crashed," said Gilmore. "We've avoided it but that's bike racing, it's caught up with us this time.
"Nettie bounced back well, probably took a bit of an edge of her and she's obviously a bit sore and sorry but we'll piece it all back together tomorrow," he said. "That's omnium racing, you get six bites of the cherry so hopefully she'll bounce back well."
With the individual pursuit, scratch race and 500 metre time trial remaining Edmondson is ranked fourth on 15 points. Hammer leads with 9 points, Pawlowska is on 11 and defending champion and Olympic gold medallis, Laura Trott, from Great Britain is third on 14 points.
Earlier in the day four Australian men were in action in the sprint with Matthew Glaetzer the fastest of the Cyclones with his time of 10.056 which was eighth best. World titles debutant Mitchell Bullen clocked10.075 for the fying 200 metres to slot in as ninth seed while Andrew Taylor (10.143) was 14th fastest and Scott Sudnderland (10.200) qualified in 20th spot.
Taylor and Sunderland were knocked out in the first round but both Glaetzer and Bullen went through to the second round where they both suffered a loss. Glaezter fought his way back into the draw with a win in the repchage but then came up against top seed Francois Pervis of France.
"I've come a long way in the individual sprint it's always been a challenge for me but I feel more confident each race," said Glaetzer. "I raced pretty well and was pretty happy with my performance. To make the quarter finals was the goal for me I've never made the quarters in the senior sprint at worlds that was a big achievement in itself and against Francois it was a bit of a do or die, have a crack, lay it all down each race was as if it was my last tonight."
26 year old Pervis was just too strong for the 20 year old South Australian beating him in two straight heats.
"I gave it everything I had," said Glaezter who regrouped to score a decisive win in the race to decide fifth to eight place. "I was stoked."
Glaezter says he has been working hard on refining his tactics with Cycling Australia Sprint Coach, Gary West.
"All of our Aussies boys have good legs, good speed so it's all about the tactical nous of the individual sprint so that's been coming along well with the Australian team," said Glaetzer who leaves Minsk pleased with his worlds compaign.
"I'm pretty happy overall, in the team sprint it would have been nice to get third (because) we've been pretty consistent getting fourth," he said. "The keirin was tough, and I would have loved to have made the final but I still performed pretty well in the repechage for that so it's been a pretty good championships and I'm happy to always have been up in the top ten, peforming well and giving it everything I have."
The young Olympian is now looking forward to a break.
"It was tough after London, when we started back at training I took two months to get back in the mind frame of wanting to go to training so it's been tough," he explained. "But I'm going to enjoy the break, play a bit of golf, my membership starts March 1 so I'm good to go. I'll just relax and have a bit of down time."
The only other Australian in action today was Ashlee Ankudinoff but she had a tough day at the office and pulled out of the points race before the finish.
Tomorrow is the final day of the Championships and five Australians will be in action. Kaarle McCulloch and Stephanie Morton line up in the women's keirin qualifying, O'Shea and Alex Edmondson will team up for the Madison and Annette Edmondson will continue her omnium campaign.
On the medal table a win by Rebecca James in the women's sprint has kept Great Britain on top with four gold, one silver and two bronze medals. Germany is sitting in second with two gold, three silver and one bronze while the Australians are in third with two gold, two silver and three bronze medals.
2013 UCI Track World Championships - Cyclones Australian team list and medal summary
- Men's 4000m Team Pursuit - Glenn O'Shea, Michael Hepburn, Alexander Edmondson, Alexander Morgan
- Men's 4000m Individual Pursuit - Michael Hepburn
- Women's 3000m Individual Pursuit - Amy Cure
- Women's 3000m Team Pursuit - Ashlee Ankudinoff (Q), Amy Cure, Annette Edmondson, Melissa Hoskins
- Women's 3000m individual Pursuit - Annette Edmondson
- Men's 15km Scratch Race - Luke Davison
- Men's Omnium - Glenn O'Shea
The eight sprint events are team sprint, sprint, keirin and time trial for both men and women.
- Kaarle MCCULLOCH (Gymea Bay, NSW 20.01.1988) 2012 Olympic Games bronze medal (team sprint)
- Stephanie MORTON (Moana, SA 28.11.1990) 2012 Paralympic Champion (tandem time trial)
- Mitchell BULLEN (Armidale, NSW 06.12.1991)
- Matthew GLAETZER (Paradise, SA, 24.08.1992) 2012 team sprint world champion
- Scott SUNDERLAND (Waneroo, WA 16.03.1988) 2012 team sprint world champion
- Andrew TAYLOR (Dubbo, NSW 24.07.1985)
The eleven endurance events are men's and women's team pursuit, individual pursuit, scratch race, points race and omnium plus the Madison for men.
- Ashlee ANKUDINOFF (Menai, NSW, 20.08.1990)
- Amy CURE (Penguin, TAS 31.12.1992)
- Annette EDMONDSON (Stirling, SA, 12.12.1991) 2012 Olympic Games bronze medal (omnium)
- Melissa HOSKINS (Lesmurdie, WA, 24.02.1991)
- Luke DAVISON (South Coogee, NSW 08.05.1990)
- Alexander EDMONDSON (Stirling, SA 22.12.1993)
- Michael HEPBURN (Brookfield, QLD 17.08.1991) 2012 individual pursuit world champion & Olympic Games silver medal team pursuit
- Alexander MORGAN (Mitcham, VIC 18.07.1994) 2012 team pursuit junior world champion
- Glenn O'SHEA (Ridleyton, SA [formerly VIC] 14.06.1989) 2012 omnium world champion & Olympic Games silver medal team pursuit
SBS Television is broadcasting daily live and highlights coverage of the Championships - check local guides for details.