Omnium: The Backstory - or - How An Evil Thing Was Brought into the World
Just released in the Sufferfest app, The Omnium is a very special video indeed. Not only does it have a spot where you're supposed to lay down in all of that Holy Water you just spilled, but we also had to create some new graphics to deal with the MAX effort you have to make in a couple of the intervals.
However, what's at least as interesting about the Omnium is how this evil beast was brought into the world. It started innocently enough when I (David McQuillen, Sufferfest Chief Suffering Officer here) was at the UCI Track World Championships in London, England. I was there attending some UCI meetings. One evening, I was able to get trackside and watch some of the races.
It was there that I started to have bad thoughts.
Amongst the races that night were a couple from the Omnium competition. I'd first followed the Omnium at the London Olympics. Here is what it's about (from Wikipedia):
"The Omnium is a multiple race event in track cycling in which all contestants compete against each other in six different disciplines. The omnium determines the best all-round track cyclist, as the disciplines feature both sprint events and endurance events. Riders must have the ability to combine and be competitive in all disciplines to finish well in the event. Generally, the omnium suits endurance riders with higher top speed and a strong sprint. It is also carefully balanced between 3 time trials and 3 mass start events."
The Omnium takes place over two days. As a Sufferlandrian, I was disgusted. "Two days?" I said to myself. "WTF do they need all that time for? A Sufferlandrian could do all that in an hour."
One man could put this right. From my seat up in the velodrome stands, I sent a text message to Sir Neal Henderson who was in the middle of the track as a coach with the USA national team*.
"Can you meet for a beer tonight?" I asked.
"Absolutely." came the reply.
Later that evening, Sir Neal and I met up at a local craft beer bar. Over a local bitter, he told tales of the national team's races, the hopes for BMC Racing in the World Tour and how he was working with Evelyn Stevens for her upcoming World Hour Record attempt. Although I never tire of hearing Sir Neal's stories, I felt that I needed to get serious about more pressing matters: namely, the Suffering of Sufferlandrians across Sufferlandria.
I went to the bar and ordered two bottles of Belgium's fine Chimay Bleu. Returning, I poured the glasses and looked Sir Neal straight in the (bleeding) eyes.
"Listen, I want to make a Sufferfest video based on the Omnium."
"What, like all six events?"
"Yes. All six," I said staring into the darkness of my Chimay.
"But you know events like the Kilometer are the most destructive efforts a cyclist can make, right?"
"Really? Even better."
"And the pursuit is something that even the best riders in the world fear, you know? These events are absolutely maximum intensity, high cadence, high concentration, brutal, brutal, brutal efforts that lay waste to the morale and determination of even the most elite of track cyclists."
"Oh, that's awesome. Sufferlandrians will just love that. I know them. They will. Can you design it?"
"But you know these events take place over two days and that riders prepare all year to ride them. You want to simulate them in an hour? That's not even humane." said Sir Neal with an unnerving grin on his face.
"So you don't care if the United Nations smacks Sufferlandria with more sanctions due to the clear human rights violations that such a video would bring about?"
"Oooooooo....." And with that, Sir Neal broke into an evil laugh that carried through the bar and down the halls of the adjacent mall.
* Yet again, Sufferlandria did not get invited to a World Championship event. Shameful.
The Omnium, with workout designed by Evil Genius Sports Scientist Sir Neal Henderson of Apex Coaching, is available exclusively at Sufferlandrian Embassies and in The Sufferfest Training Centre App. You can get the app, and all the Suffering contained therein, here.