Ethan Hayter and Ella Barnwell won the national omnium titles at the Derby Arena on Sunday.
Both riders won two of their first three events, establishing identical six-point leads going into the final events of both competitions – the points race.
In the men’s event, Hayter signalled his intentions immediately, attacking from the bell in the scratch race. He was unable to gain a lap though, and ended up fifth, as Rhys Britton took victory to establish an early lead.
Hayter – the 2018 European champion in this event – was back in the thick of the action in the tempo race, taking a lap alongside Fred Wright after Britton, Joe Holt and Oscar Nilsson-Julien had all also taken 20 points for a lap gain earlier on. Hayter underlined his class by chasing down the new leading pair of Tom Ward and Will Roberts, before pressing on and gaining a second lap, ensuring victory ahead of Roberts and Wright.
He carried that form into the elimination race, eventually winning unchallenged after Nilsson-Julien expended all of his energy to secure second place ahead of Wright.
With a healthy lead going into the points race, Hayter ensured that he marked and chased down all potential attacks in the early stages, and scored frequently in the intermediate sprints to gradually build what was becoming an unassailable lead.
Nilsson-Julien took a lap on his own to briefly move into second place overall, but Britton and Wright were able to force their way back above him as the sprints ticked by. Britton won the final sprint to claim 10 points, but Wright’s third place – and four points – ensured he edged his way into the silver medal position on 125 points to Britton’s 123.
The class act of the day was undoubtedly Hayter, though, who finished on 131 points.
Afterwards, he said:
“I tried to catch people out early in the scratch race and get good start – that didn’t quite work out but it did set the tone for the rest of the day. I messed up the finish of the scratch a bit, but felt ok, then I felt better and better as the rest of the day went on and I finished really well.
“The last three events were really good. I had a small lead going into the points race, and I tried to score big early then ride quite defensively, and that worked well.”
In the women’s event, Barnwell’s day got off to the perfect start as she timed her sprint well to take scratch race victory ahead of Sophie Lewis and Jenny Holl. Anna Morris then propelled herself into contention with an expertly-judged tempo race, as she and Kelsey Fuss established a gap and worked together to claim a large number of the points on offer every lap.
At the halfway stage, both Barnwell and Morris were on 68 points, while consistency over the opening two events had paid off for Holl and Anna Docherty, who shared the lead on 70.
Holl was unexpectedly knocked out first in the elimination race though, while Docherty recorded a fifth-place finish. With the door ajar, Barnwell made sure she capitalised, winning her second event of the day by holding off Eluned King in the final sprint.
She went into the final event – the points race – with a six-point advantage. Strong riding from Morris threatened to eat into that lead, but Barnwell was able to steadily accumulate points by consistently scoring in the intermediate sprints, and after a dangerous-looking attack by Anna Shackley and Amelia Sharpe was brought back and Fuss had impressively taken a lap in rapid time, Barnwell ensured that she ended in fine style, claiming the maximum 10 points on the final sprint to finish on 131.
Docherty took silver with a total of 117, while Morris claimed bronze a further five points back.
“It was a tough day. It was nice to get a win in the scratch race, then I had a bit of bad luck in the tempo, but I just got my head back and went really hard in the next two races. It feels really good to wear this jersey – some great riders have worn it in the past, so it’s nice to be part of that.”
Today was the concluding day of the National Madison and Omnium Championships, with yesterday seeing the duos of Holl and Docherty and Britton and Wright win the national Madison titles.