Rushlee Buchanan has won the women’s omnium at the Festival of Speed in Trexlertown.  Buchanan dominated the four-race event to take the UCI Track Cycling event in style ahead of Kimberly Geist and Collen Gulick.

The Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania played host at the weekend to Kiwis Rushlee Buchanan and Jessie Hodges in the women’s omnium event.  Also riding for New Zealand over the weekend were sprinters Sam Dakin, Callum Saunders and Jackson Ogle in the keirin event.

Of the sprinters it was Dakin who produced the standout performance of the weekend.  Callum Saunders took 8th place, having finished second in the 7th-12th final, but it was Dakin who went through to the ride for the gold medal ahead of the Trinidad and Tobago trio of Kwesi Browne, Nicholas Paul and Njisane Phillip, Australia’s Thomas Clarke and Venesuela’s Hersony Canelon. 

In the sprint for the line it was Browne and Phillip who took first and second place, while Sam Dakin completed the podium in third place.

The women’s omnium saw 20 riders go head-to-head across four events, beginning with the scratch race, then the tempo, elimination and finally the points race.  As world championship bronze medallist in the omnium and fifth in the points race at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Buchanan went into the race as one of the outright favourites for the win.

Racing began with the USA’s Christine d’Ercole taking top spot in the opening scratch race.  The American’s performance saw her cross the line in first place to take the 40 points for top spot.  Second place went to Jessica Costa and third to Kimberly Geist; while Kiwis Jessie Hodges and Rushlee Buchanan finished fourth and fifth respectively.

From there, though, Buchanan came into her own as she dominated the next two events to take a commanding lead heading into the final points race.  Victory in the tempo and elimination races for Buchanan meant that she arrived at the points race with 112 points to her name, 14 ahead of her nearest rivals Geist and Gulick.

The points race proved to be a sprinter’s game as no one was able to gain a lap on the field; and that played into Buchanan’s hands nicely.  While her strongest challenge for the sprints came from Chelsea Knapp, Buchanan ensured that she scored points in all of the first 6 sprints, and despite a late surge of points from Knapp and Kate Wilson; the Waikato rider pushed the pace to secure the double points on the line for the final sprint, and with it a resounding victory.

Buchanan ended the race with a comfortable 27 point margin over Geist, with Gulick a further 11 points back.  Jessie Hodges took fifth place, just 6 points shy of Gulick’s third spot on the podium.


Omnium results:

Rank Last Name First Name Country Team Scratch race Tempo race Elimination TOTAL
1 BUCHANAN Rushlee NZL        NEW ZEALAND 32 40 40 141
2 GEIST Kimberly USA        UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 36 26 36 114
3 GULICK Colleen USA        UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 30 36 32 103
4 JOSEPH Amber BAR        BARBADOS 24 34 34 102
5 HODGES Jessie NZL        NEW ZEALAND 34 24 38 97
6 COSTA Jessica TTO        TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO 38 32 26 96
7 BIRCH Christina USA        UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 26 38 24 93
8 KNAPP Chelsea USA        UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 22 28 14 91
9 BEATTY Alijah USA        UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 28 18 30 76
10 D’ERCOLE Christine USA        UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 40 12 22 75
11 HUYETT Elspeth USA        UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 20 22 28 73
12 ZUBRIS Kimberly Ann USA        UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 18 30 20 68
13 COSTA Alexi TTO        TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO 16 20 18 62
14 WILSON Kate USA        UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 10 14 16 56
15 MYBURGH Victoria Sarah RSA        SOUTH AFRICA 12 10 10 32
16 GNUDI Claudia RSA        SOUTH AFRICA 14 6 8 28
17 MARTZ Rebecca USA        UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 6 4 4 14
18 NIEKERK Danielle Van RSA        SOUTH AFRICA DNF 8 2 DNF


Photo:  Guy Swarbrick


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