Former individual and World Pursuit world champion Alex Edmondson will face a stacked field in his national omnium title defence this week in Adelaide as he goes up against 2012 omnium world champion Glenn O'Shea at the Adelaide Super-Drome. Edmondson was part of the Australian squad which set a new team pursuit record record at the Cambridge World Cup earlier this month, providing the 22-year-old with a confidence boost for his Rio Olympic Games aspirations following a road season ending knee injury that required surgery.
"It has been an interesting last 12 weeks that's for sure. There have been a lot of ups but also some downs with it being a bit sore here and there," Edmondson said of his knee. "It's still an on going issue but I feel as though I'm starting to get the upper hand!"
Edmondson has claimed the last two national titles in the discipline but will need to be at his best to get the better of O'Shea who claimed the Cambridge World Cup bronze medal and is looking for an Olympic medal next August in the event.
"I am eager to try and win the omnium national title," O'Shea said. "The last couple of years it hasn't really fit into my program that well but this year it is a big goal for me to do well. I was reasonably happy with my performance in New Zealand. I had a couple events that I didn't really ride up to my normal standards but I was very happy with how I fought back over the second day to make it onto the podium.
"With the Olympics next year every time you get the opportunity to put your hand up you need to take it. The 2016 Omnium National Championships are one of those opportunities."
Former winner Scott Law and dual U23 road and time trial national champion Miles Scotson are among the other 12 starters.
The Australian Madison championships will also be held later this week in Melbourne at the Hisense Arena on Saturday with two-time world champions in the event, Cameron Meyer and Leigh Howard, taking centre stage while Edmondson and O'Shea will put their rivalry to one side and compete together as the Mitchelton team.