Australia’s Glenn O’Shea has won omnium silver at the track cycling world championships in Paris with an aggressive ride in the final race of the six-discipline event.
O’Shea went into the decisive 40km points race on Saturday night (Sunday morning AEDT) in third place overall but leap-frogged Italian Elia Viviani by stealing a lap.
Young Colombian sprint sensation Fernando Gaviria also stole a lap to secure the gold after dominating the two-day competition.
O’Shea, the 2012 omnium world champion, trailed Viviani by six points before the points race but ended up nine points clear of the Italian.
The Victorian first tried to steal a lap – worth 20 points – with around 80 laps remaining but both Gaviria and Viviani stuck to his wheel like glue and they were all reeled back in.
However, the Australian wasn’t deterred and attacked again 10 laps later – this time alone and successfully.
O’Shea started Saturday in sixth place 24 points behind Gaviria but steadily climbed the rankings.
He came second in the 1km time trial and then fourth in the flying lap before his aggressive points race.
The 25-year-old opened proceedings on Friday with a poor scratch race but immediately bounced back by winning the individual pursuit and then claiming fourth in the elimination race.
O’Shea later revealed he wasn’t feeling great in the points race.
“So I had to pick my moments which I did really well,” he told AAP.
“When I committed I went full gas and managed to get the lap but it was probably a bit too late with the Colombian already sneaking a lap there at the start when we were all looking at each other.”
The 25-year-old said he wasn’t interested in protecting silver or bronze.
“I went in there trying to win but the Colombian was a bit too good today.”
O’Shea missed the team pursuit this week for the first time and while it paid dividends in that he won silver in the omnium he’ll reassess his options heading into the Rio Olympics.
“It’s a hard one trying to ride both,” he said on Saturday.
“And the team pursuit is probably the most important track event for Australia.”
Jack Bobridge, Luke Davison, Alex Edmondson and Miles Scotson won bronze in the team pursuit on Thursday.