Laura Trott continued her winning streak at the London Velodrome on Sunday evening with victory in the Omnium. The double Olympic champion has a sterling record on the track where she won those two titles, only failing to secure gold on one solitary occasion back in February 2012 – where she took bronze behind Sarah Hammer and Annette Edmondson.
“I don’t want to lose at this track, sad as it sounds, after what I did at London 2012, and I think that gives me a little bit extra,” she said to the Guardian after sealing her second win of the contest, after taking gold on the opening evening in the team pursuit.
Trott beat round one Omnium winner Jolien d’Hoore and Dutch sprinter Kirsten Wild to the gold. She got things off to a great start with wins in the scratch race and the pursuit. However, Wild got her own back in the elimination race, a discipline that Trott has dominated in the past. Wild - who will ride for Hitech Products on the road next season - took advantage of some indecision from Trott to win.
“I was so disappointed yesterday with the elimination race; I had a bit of a confidence crisis, hesitating when I should have dived underneath,” Trott told British Cycling. “After you win quite a lot of events, people expect you to win. It’s hard. You go into training sessions, you feel rubbish and then you try to think about the next event. It does sometimes get on top of you.
The 22-year-old started the second day of Omnium competition with a slim two-point lead over Wild. The Dutchwoman faltered in the time trial, allowing d’Hoore an opportunity to mount a challenge for the gold medal. The Belgian national road champion took victory in the opening two events on the final day, closing the gap to Trott to 14 points ahead of the final event.
“I just had to sit on, that was all there was to it,” Trott said of her adversary to the Guardian. She did just that, shadowing the Belgian throughout much of the race’s 100 laps. D’Hoore only managed to shake Trott with 10 laps to go, as she launched an attack to take maximum points in the penultimate sprint. However, it wasn’t enough to defeat Trott, held on to take the gold by 12 points.
“I thought because Jolien wasn’t going for the sprints she might be trying to gain a lap but she was like me, ran out of legs at the end. It got to 20 laps to go and I thought if I just got some points she wouldn’t be able to beat me. The Spanish girl set me up beautifully and I won it easily, I was so happy. I knew I could just ride round to the finish.”
D’Hoore remains at the top of the World Cup standing, leading Cuban rider Marlies Mehias Garcia – who finished fifth in London – by 45 points. The next round will take place in Cali, Colombia from January 16-18.