UCI announces beefed up Olympic omnium format

The men's scratch race action.

The men's scratch race action. (Image credit: John Veage)

The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced today the final format for the newly introduced track cycling omnium which will take the place of the Madison, Individual pursuit and Points race in the Olympic Games.

The UCI Track Commission made changes to the format, bringing the five-race format used at the World Championships since 2007 to six and placing more emphasis on endurance races.

The 200m time trial will be changed to a 250m flying lap, eliminating the standing start which favors pure sprinters. The Points races will be increased to 30km for men and 20km for women, up from 15km and 10km, respectively.

The Individual pursuits will be run at the traditional Olympic distances, 4km for men, 3km for women, rather than the omnium distances 3km and 2km, respectively.

The Olympic omnium will maintain the Scratch races, doubling the distance to 15 and 10km from the current format and add an Elimination race as the final endurance event. Twenty-four riders will start the Elimination race, with the last rider over the line being eliminated every two laps.

The changes will come into effect for non-Olympic competitions after the World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark (March 24-28, 2010).

The omnium is one of the five events of the Olympic track cycling programme together with the individual sprint, team sprint, keirin and team pursuit. An equal number of medals will be awarded to men and women in track cycling at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

New Omnium format
- Flying lap (250-metre time trial)
- Points race (men: 30 km, women: 20 km)
- Individual pursuit (men: 4 km, women: 3 km)
- Scratch race (men: 15 km, women: 10 km)
- Kilometre time trial (men), 500-metre time trial (women)
- Elimination race (24 starters)

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