Kurt Eather (Dubbo CC) and Chloe Heffernan (Illawarra CC) have dominated the NSW Elite Omnium Championships to win the men’s and women’s titles in Sydney yesterday.
Both riders scored maximum points in the opening three rounds before comfortably closing out the Points Race.
A small field of six contested the Elite Women’s championships. Heffernan outsprinted Joanne Arancibia (St George CC) to take out the opening scratch race.
In the Tempo Race, Heffernan and Veris Racing teammate Tahlia Dole (Illawarra CC) attacked off the front to share the bulk of the points between them. With two laps to go and Dole beginning to fatigue, Heffernan rode away to take a comfortable win.
In the Elimination, Heffernan once again controlled proceedings, though Arancibia nearly sneaked past to steal the final sprint.
Heffernan carried the maximum allotment of 120 points into the final round – the Points Race – where she easily sewed up the win as the superior sprinter.
The race for silver, however, remained alive until the final lap. Ultimately, Dole prevailed by two points ahead of Arancibia.
“It was great to get out there and finally get a race in,” said Heffernan, who has been focusing on the road rather than track cycling. “We had six girls, so it was a bit different racing than if it was a big field, but everyone gave it their all. It was pretty tough out there.”
“I’m doing more road this season, so I have a couple of country opens – there’s Tolland next – and then I’m working towards the Tour of Brisbane and a few others,” Heffernan said.
Ten riders contested the Elite Men’s omnium, including defending champion Ben Harvey (St George CC).
A rapid pace saw the field split late in the opening scratch race. A long sprint by Tom Bolton (Dulwich Hill BC) gave a convenient launching pad for Eather, who came around in the final bend to take the win.
In the Tempo Race, Devraj Grewal (Marconi CC) struck out solo to sweep up 10 points and impose an early advantage. Halfway through the race, the bunch rallied behind to reabsorb Grewal, and it was then Eather who attacked to begin picking up points for himself. While Grewal fought to avoid being lapped, Eather collected 12 points to take out the second round.
Eather then raced smartly to become last-man-standing in the Elimination, ensuring he took the maximum 120 points into the final round.
Clearly the superior rider at the end of a long weekend of racing, Eather won plenty of the sprints at the beginning of the Points Race to wrap up the victoy.
There was another close tussle for silver, with Harvey taking it over Bolton by just three points.
“At the start of the day, I won the scratch race and realised I had pretty good legs,” Eather said. “As it went on, I seemed to get better, so I was happy with that.
“I knew I had it won towards the end of that points race, so I thought I’d better keep sprinting and get a bit of training in so I’m ready for the National Omnium.”
Dylan Eather (Dubbo CC) ensured the drive home would be a happy one for the Eather family, winning the Under-19 Men’s Omnium Championships after a tight head-to-head battle with Cameron Rogers (Canberra CC).
Eather took the Scratch Race before Rogers won the Tempo and Elimination. In the Points Race, the two seemed to trade positions in every sprint, snatching the lead only to lose it ten laps later.
As the fatigue of the weekend caught up, Eather eventually clinched the last few sprints to win gold.
In the Under-19 Women’s Omnium, defending champion Haylee Fuller (Dubbo CC) met her match in South Australian Meg Marker (South Coast CC). The newly-crowned Clarence St Cyclery Cup winner took out the Scratch Race and Elimination, while Fuller had control in the Tempo Race.
It all came down to another closely-fought Points Race, where both riders enjoyed moments of strength throughout the 60 laps. In the end, Marker prevailed by just three points over Fuller, who had to settle for the title of first NSW rider.
Words and photos by Ryan Miu
Click for full results
Elite Women Omnium
1. Chloe HEFFERNAN (Illawarra CC) 152 Pts
2. Tahlia DOLE (Illawarra CC) 140
3. Joanne ARANCIBIA (St George CC) 138
Elite Men Omnium
1. Kurt EATHER (Dubbo CC) 159 Pts
2. Ben HARVEY (St George CC) 133
3. Tom BOLTON (Dulwich Hill BC) 130
1. Meg MARKER (South Coast CC (SA)) 136 Pts
2. Haylee FULLER (Dubbo CC) 133
3. Rebel BROOKER (Tolland CC) 126
4. Sarah CLIFF (Illawarra CC) 118
1. Dylan EATHER (Dubbo CC) 148 Pts
2. Cameron ROGERS (Canberra CC (ACT)) 141
3. Ryan BRITTEN (Illawarra CC) 119
4. Deren PERRY (Parramatta CC) 111