Saturday, June 28, 2008

Arden Doing Well in JUNE 2008 Ominium Events

The Encino Velodrome organizer informed our track/omnium racer Arden Arindaeng is ahead in the leaderboard for the 40+ Overall Sprint Trophy. (June 2008 Results)

Arden concentrates in 3 events: 200m TT, Match Sprints, and Keirins.

Don't worry if you don't know what's a keirin.
See here.

Invented by the Japanese as a betting sport in 1948, it's a track cycling event that's 2 KM long, with a
mass start, and involves a motor-pacer (which could be either a standard motorcycle, a special motorcycle called a "derny" made just for the keirin, or a tandem bicycle) .

Six to 9 Riders draw lottery to determine start positions. Riders must remain behind the "pacer", who first goes slow (about 25 KPH), gradually increasing in speed. The pacer leaves the track about 700 meters before the end, at a speed of about 50 km/h.

What's a
scratch race ? It's where all contestants start from scratch ( on equal terms, not staggered start). If one rider (or a breakaway group of riders) gains an entire lap on the peloton and keeps this to the finish, this advantage places the breakaway rider/group ahead of the other riders with fewer laps completed.)

Arden's chosen 3 events do not cover all the 5 events in an"omnium", so he cannot compete in the overall.

OK, OK, you're asking..., what the heck is a OMNUIM?

You can be forgiven for asking. It has not been held at UCI events at world championship level for almost 40 years. It's a competition where the cyclist must be well-rounded because he/she must accumulate points in multi-disciplinary events, in the same vein as track and field's "pentathlon" where you must run, jump, throw, and shoot rifles.

In modern track cycling competition, a cyclist is either a
sprinter, or an endurance rider. Few cyclists have the well-rounded ability to be competitive in both disciplines. The track-and-field world is the same, where you have 100-meter sprinters unable to compete in 1,500 meters or marathons, and vice-versa.

In the newly re-instituted modern omnium (UCI 2006), individual competitors accumulate points in five events, in the following order:

200M Flying Start Time Trial
5 KM Scratch race
3 KM Individual Pursuit (or 2KM for Juniors), with the starting seeding determined by their finish in the previous scratch race event (so dropping off the back of the bunch in the scratch race is not a good strategy)
15 KM Points race (with a minimum of 5 intermediate, and the sixth being the final sprint)
• And then to cap it off, a
1 KM Time Trial, generally regarded in the track cycling world as one of the hardest and most violent minutes of any cyclist's life. In the omnium, the riders will ride off in pairs, pursuit-style.

Now, back to Arden's performance. The posted results showed Arden's name underlined in green (Sprint Leader) At the previous Sprint Ominuim he finished 2nd in the 40+ group.

Look for the 40+ , and Cat3/4 Categories. Look for Wilson's name too.

Coming up:

There's one more "Bob Hansing Memorial Cup" competition coming up the following weekend (click here) but its an endurance omnium (no sprint events, only 5 medium/long events), but Arden might not race that.

(OK, too many names. WHO IS BOB HANSING? What? You don't know? That's OK.

He's an insider and pioneer to the bicycling industry. Founder of the Montrose Bike Shop in February 1955, and the Montrose Cycle Club (from which emerged several national and Olympic cyclists). A founder of the Encino Velodrome. 1968 U.S. Olympic Cycling Coach in Mexico City. Manager of the Pan-American team in Columbia in 1971. President of Shimano American Corporation, where he retired in 1971.)

Next for Arden are events held at the 3 Southern California velodromes: Encino, Home Depot/ADT in Carson, and San Diego, those three constitute one big tournament called the "SoCal Cup".

So, to repeat, Arden is in line to win the 40+ Sprint Trophy, but not for the over-all Omnium (because you must compete in all 5 multi-disciplinary events, whereas Arden is concentrating first on just 3 events). He is accumulating valuable experience, and getting ready mentally for bigger things/events.
The Keirin Finals didn't look so well because his team's tactics didn't work as planned for his teammate. To gain points, his teammate needed (but failed) to finish well. But the qualifier round worked as planned for Arden because of his team's help. Arden's teammate Shawn covered his back the whole time allowing Arden to finish 1st.

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