What Is an Omnium Bike Race?

What Is an Omnium Bike Race?
Omnium is defined as a collection of things. In the world of cycling, omnium refers to a group of back-to-back races held on indoor tracks (velodromes) or on the road.

Course: Track

The modern track omnium is held on an oval-shaped indoor cycling track, or velodrome. This track is steeply banked.
The omnium, as regulated by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), consists of five events: a 200m flying start time trial; a 5 km scratch race; a 3 km individual pursuit; a 15 km points race; and a 1 km time trial.
Track omniums are held as one-day events with riders allowed up to 30 minutes to rest between individual events.


Equipment: Track

Although track bikes look similar to road bikes, the major difference is that track bikes have no brakes. They utilize a single fixed rear gear, unlike the multiple gears in a road bike. This set-up allows for maximum speed, eliminates sudden braking while in close proximity to other riders and reduces the bicycle's weight.

Rider: Track

Cyclists riding in a track omnium must have a mix of endurance, power and speed to successfully compete in an omnium's wide range of distances.

Course: Road

Road omniums typically consist of three races, held over 2 to 3 days, with riders competing for cumulative points. Each of the three races typically include a 10 to 20-mile time trial; a criterium (riding a specified number of laps, or time, on a looping course); and a 25 to 60-mile road race.

Equipment: Road

Due to the nature of the road omnium and the courses, cyclists use road racing bikes outfitted with brakes and multiple gears to better handle the varied terrain that will be encountered in the outdoors.

Rider: Road

Due to the distances involved in a road omnium, and the nature of the events, cyclists considering competing in a road omnium should be in excellent shape to race in three different, but grueling events over the course of 2 to 3 days.


Article Written By Jack Kaltmann

Jack Kaltmann is a Las Vegas-based writer with more than 25 years of professional experience in corporate communications. He is a published author of several books and feature articles for national publications such as "American Artist" and "Inside Kung-Fu." Kaltmann holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Miami University and is a retired nationally certified personal trainer.

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