Sunday was the final day of the Blythewood Spring Omnium and the racers faced a rolling 5.1 kilometer loop that included a hill that summited to a right hand corner that led to the finishing stretch. The weather continued to be perfect for bike racing.
The heroic move of the day was in the Master’s 35+ race. Cleve Blackwell (POA) soloed from lap two and continued on for the remaining 35 kilometers while his teammates controlled the group. With his victory assured, Blackwell had the time to high five chief referee Glenn Thrift as he crossed the finish line.
The women’s race was merged with the open category and category 3/ 4 racers. To encourage the less experienced racers to participate the promoter allowed all the category 3/ 4 women who had raced Saturday’s criterium to race for free in the circuit race.
Morgan Patton strung it out single file on the first lap causing the peloton to splinter. There were a few probing attacks but nothing stuck. With three laps completed Susan Morgan (GWC) attacked in the middle of the hill taking Colleen Paine and Hannah Coughlin (both of Kenda p/b Geargrinder), Addy Albershardt (DIY) and Christy Blakely (Cycle-Smart Inc). With the strong teams represented this was going to be the winning break.
The four ladies worked well together, but with the overall omnium title hanging in the balance it was going to be a battle between Paine and Albershardt. In the sprint for the stage win, Kenda rider Paine was the fastest taking the day’s win as well as the overall omnium. Albershardt was second and Coughlin taking the final spot on the podium.
Before the pro race took to the course, the promoters had a competition with the public elementary schools in Blythewood. The school with the most kids participating in the ride received $500 for wellness equipment with the second place school $400. Over 200 students rode five circuits escorted by the pros giving them an opportunity to interact with the racers.
Prior to the men’s race the peloton observed a moment of silence for the people of Japan.
The pro 1/ 2 category race was a battle between two teams, Globalbike and Mountain Khakis, each marking the other. Thomas Brown of Mountain Khakis was in the omnium lead, but just one point behind him was Winston David of Globalbike.
A group of six rolled off on the second lap. Two laps later two members of the break, Jon Hamblen (Mountain Khakis) and Bruce Humphries (Hincapie Green Creation), surged ahead of the break. The remaining four escapees were reabsorbed, but Hamblen and Humphries were still up the road.
Their gap grew to over two minutes and the peloton wasn’t too interested in chasing. One reason could have been the fact that neither rider was a threat to Brown’s omnium lead or David’s second place. However, that all changed with two laps to go and suddenly the gap was reduced to one minute! As the duo approached the finishing stretch the gap had been further sliced to about five seconds.
In the sprint for the line Hamblen took the win with Humphries second. Omnium leader Brown crossed the line in third securing his overall Blythewood win.
Full race results for the Blythewood Spring Omnium are available at PRE-REG.com.