British Cycling National Omnium Series round up for 2011


The season long women's series offered an amazing seven rounds in 2011, taking place on tracks as far apart as Herne Hill, in London and Dundee.  Almost 40 women rode at least one round of this series, which underlines the growing importance of the event which is now part of the Olympic programme.


Janet Birkmyre XRT Elmy Cycles in winning form


The action kicked off at Herne Hill at the end of May, with a small but interesting field of riders, including some experienced riders, some younger riders and some ladies new to this discipline.  Janet Birkmyre (XRT Elmy Cycles and yes, one of our editors!) showed she meant business this year, winning three of the five events comfortably and taking second and third place in the other two, to win the omnium overall and get her campaign to take the series off to a good start.  Marianne Britten (VC St Raphael) was second overall and Lydia Boylan (Look Mum No Hands!) a new comer to this event this year, rounded out the podium.


 Ellie Coster and Janet Birkmyre go head to head


The second round of the series was part of the Edinburgh GP and it was up and coming youth, Ellie Coster (Bush Healthcare) who showed she is a huge talent in waiting by winning the overall comfortably from a raft of Scottish girls on home turf.  Coster showed her all round talent by winning the match sprint, scratch and points.  The only event she did not win was the 500M TT which was taken in a stunning time by Alison Chisholm (Edinburgh RC).  On the final count, Kayleigh Brogan (City of Edinburgh) was second and Commonwealth silver medallist, Charlene Joiner (City of Edinburgh) took third spot.  Janet Birkmyre, suffering a nasty cold, struggled to disappointing fifth place but held onto the lead in the series after two rounds. 


Dudley GP 2011


Round three was at the Dudley GP and it was a show down between Janet Birkmyre and Ellie Coster.  Janet took first blood winning the one lap TT and then backed this up by winning the scratch race as well.  However, Ellie was keeping her hopes alive by taking second place in both races.  It was Janet’s pursuit, second fastest behind Irish International, Ciara Horne (Ireland) that eventually put some distance between them and Janet went into the points race with a good lead in the omnium overall and eventually finished three points clear of Ellie.  Third overall was Ciara, riding for the Ireland U23 squad, she really put down a marker in the pursuit, bucked the seeding to take third in the sprint with some good tactical riding and backed all of that up with a win in the points race.


Welwyn’s Omnium and Dernyfest was sadly called off due to heavy rain and this left the door wide open for other challengers, as round five, the Reading Omnium clashed with the European Masters over in Italy.  Series leader, Janet Birkmyre was absent as she was defending her European Masters Titles and it was Ireland Under 23 representative Ciara Horne, who took full advantage.  She cleaned up the Endurance events and took the omnium victory comfortably from Harriet Owen (Motorpoint Cycling) and Lydia Boylan.  Lydia Boylan was proving to be a dark horse in this series, riding her first track season she had shown good consistency, finishing third at Herne Hill, fifth at Dudley and now third again – all of which put her second overall in the series with just two rounds to ride.


Bunch racing at the Scunthorpe omnium


Round six was a glorious sunny day at the Scunthorpe track and it was all Janet Birkmyre, as she blitzed the field in the one lap time trial, winning by over a second and then took the win in the Scratch race as well.  She was second in the Pursuit to Jayne Payne (Willesden CC) and fourth in the Sprint, an event won in style by Ellie Coster.  Going into the final event, the points race, Janet’s closest competitor was once again Ellie Coster but with a nine point margin there was little she could do to overhaul the difference.  The big battle was for second place with City of Edinburgh’s Kayleigh Brogan very close on points, but Ellie managed to hang on to second place despite coming off a heavy week of racing at the Youth/Junior Nationals where she had suffered from a bad cold.


Jayne Paine wins the pursuit


With the just one round to go, Janet Birkmyre now had a 24 point lead from Ellie Coster.  However this final round was back up north and over the border to Dundee.  The long drive, coupled with an atrocious weather forecast and other commitments, meant that none of the top seven riders from the series contested this round.  On the day, the weather held long enough for three of the scheduled omnium races to be completed and it was local rider, Gemma Baird who took her first points of the series, winning from Anna Harris, with Julie Dominguez third overall.  These three all moved up the table significantly but it left no doubt who was National Omnium Series Champion for the sixth time; Janet Birkmyre, followed by Ellie Coster and Lydia Boylan.


It was another great National Omnium Series, with many new faces, and fields which shows the great depth of the domestic talent in the UK, as well as Ireland.  Thanks go to all the organisers for running well organised events, we look forward to seeing you all again in Olympic year – 2012.


Words from David Jack




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