TEMECULA – Sarah Hammer of Temecula won the women’s omnium today at cycling’s 2014 UCI Track World Championships in Cali, Colombia, successfully defending her title in the two-day, six-race event.
Hammer entered today’s final three races in first place, six points ahead of Laura Trott of Great Britain, the gold medalist in the event in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
In each race, the winner receives one point, the second-place rider two points and so forth. The rider with the lowest total score is the winner.
Hammer added a point to her lead by winning today’s first race, the 3,000-meter individual pursuit, where two riders start at opposite sides of the track and race against the clock.
Hammer, the world-record holder in the event, was timed in three minutes, 32.761 seconds. Trott was second in 3:33.885.
Hammer added another point to her lead by finishing fifth in the 10- kilometer scratch race, where the winner is the first to cross the finish line. Trott finished sixth.
Hammer finished fourth in the final race, the 500-meter time trial where the cyclists race against the clock.
Hammer completed the omnium with 14 points. Trott was second with 20 points and Annette Edmondson of Australia third with 24.
”It’s amazing to be able to replicate last year,” said Hammer, a 2000 graduate of Chaparral High School.
”Any time you’re a world champion, you have a huge target on your back. Everybody’s lifted their game, especially Laura Trott. She kept the pressure on me the whole time. I had to bring my A game in everything.
”I knew I was physically prepared, but the omnium is a battle of the mind and the body, so you have to have great execution on every single event and I feel like I had success at that the last two days.”
The medal was Hammer’s second of the championships. She won the silver medal in Friday’s individual pursuit, which she has won five times at past world championships.
The loss in the individual pursuit ”was great motivation” for the omnium, Hammer said.
”I wanted to make sure I was standing on the top of the podium today,” she said.