Fernando Gaviria wins back-to-back Omnium world titles
A fantastic ride in the points race helped the young Colombian take the glory in London.
Fernando Gaviria was a man on a mission on Saturday evening, in the Lee Valley VeloPark: lying in second overall, 14 points behind general classification leader Elia Viviani (Italy), the 21-year-old knew he had to attack and be aggressive in the 40 km-long points race in order to successfully defend the gold medal won in 2015, in Yvelines (France). At the start, many thought it was going to be only about the two of them, but as the race progressed, Roger Kluge (Germany) and Glenn O'Shea (Australia) came in the mix as well, after taking two laps on the field, which brought them 40 points each.
The race was nail-biting to the very end, with Gaviria going for the sprint points and making sure he marks closely his rivals, who were becoming more and more dangerous. With just a couple of laps left, the Etixx – Quick-Step rider, Kluge and O'Shea were on even points (191), and the last sprint was expected to make the difference, which eventually happened: there, thanks to his huge burst of speed, Fernando captured a superior finishing position and took the gold medal home.
Gaviria – who came in the United Kingdom following a solid Tour La Provence, where he claimed a stage and the points classification – had a solid display in the two-day event, nailing two victories (in the individual pursuit and the elimination race) in the process, before going on to seal the overall standings and become the first rider in history to win the Omnium event twice at the World Championships.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele