Campbell Stewart lived up to the rainbow jersey’s prestige in the men’s omnium on day 2 of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Cambridge’s Avantidrome. The Kiwi rode a confident and composed omnium to take the title ahead of Cameron Meyer and Artyom Zakharov.
22 riders took to the start line for four events in one packed evening that began with the scratch race. Campbell Stewart, resplendent in his world champion’s kit, was one of two primary riders to watch alongside multiple world champion Cameron Meyer. But it was Belarus who set the early tempo with Raman Tsishkou taking the win in the 10km scratch race ahead of Christos Volikakis of Greece and Germany’s Roger Kluge; with Campbell Stewart and Meyer down in fifth and sixth respectively.
The tempo race saw Stewart again in contention but not truly flexing his muscles just yet amongst field. The sprints were divided between 9 riders, with Daniel Staniszewski of Poland taking the first seven before honours began to be divided. Liam Bertazzo took a hat-trick of consecutive sprints but it was Eiya Hashimoto of Japan who was most impressive, taking a lap alongside Artyom Zakharov and Cameron Meyer; and taking the win.
Stewart has a reputation for thriving in the elimination race and he lived up to that reputation in the third of four events. Roger Kluge of Germany was his final opponent after the German appeared to be suffering earlier in the race and playing a number of risky moves. Cameron Meyer also showed good form finishing third, and setting up a fascinating final points race with all points earned in the final event contributing to the overall score.
As expected there were a number of moves made in the final points race but it was Daniel Staniszewski of Poland who gained the early lap in what was a fairly calm opening quarter; before Cameron Meyer made his first anticipated manoeuvre with 74 laps to go. It didn’t come to anything but the next sprint proved the launch for the first of two laps gained by Kazakhstan’s Artyom Zakharov.
Campbell Stewart notched up a handy total of sprint points to sit in second place in the standings after 4 of 10 sprints, but it was an attack from the reigning world champion with 58 laps to go that began to get the crowd going. He made a move alongside Meyer and a small group that included Roger Kluge of Germany.
At the halfway point Stewart took maximum points and his breakaway group continued to close the gap on the rest of the bunch. They made the catch with 43 laps to go; putting Stewart back into the driving seat as Liang Guo of China went on the attack. The move would be enough to take the next sprint, but Stewart continued to notch up points to hold a slender but sure lead over Cameron Meyer and Artyom Zakharov.
The Australian and Kazakhstan rider went on a threatening move, but it was the Australian who was more heavily leant on to work and their move came to naught. Stewart capitalised on the matches burned by Meyer to then take maximum points in the seventh sprint and he then controlled matters comfortably to take the penultimate sprint maximum points and all but guarantee that he would be taking a World Cup win in front of a home crowd.
Ka Yu Leung made a late attack, enough to take the final double points sprint, but despite sitting up and gaining no points in the finale Stewart had comfortably done enough to secure the omnium title. The Kiwi finished on 142 points, with Cameron Meyer second on 133 points and Zakharov third on 129 points.