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UCI makes changes to Omnium

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Cycling's world governing body has once again changed the format of the multi-discipline omnium.

The format of the six-discipline event was changed between the last two Olympics - although there were still three timed and three mass start events - and the UCI on Thursday announced another overhaul.

Four mass start events feature - scratch, tempo, elimination and points race - and there will be no timed events at all in the discipline, which now takes place over one day, rather than two.

"Dropping the timed events means the omnium becomes a pure endurance event, bringing better balance to the track program," the UCI said in a statement.

The UCI has also sought to address concerns on the format of a number of other events, to make the program more compact and spectator friendly.

But the revised omnium format has four events that, to an untrained observer, look similar.

The scratch race is first past the post and the elimination race sees the rider in last place at the end of every other lap ruled out of the race until two riders remain and sprint for the line.

The points race sees points awarded at sprints every 10 laps and for gaining laps on the field.

The tempo is a discipline unfamiliar to many seasoned observers of international competition.

There are sprints every lap, beginning after five laps. The final placings are determined by accumulated points won during sprints and by taking laps, while any riders lapped by the field must leave the track.

UCI president Brian Cookson said: "While it is important that we safeguard the essence of our cycling disciplines, we also need to be brave and embrace change in order to give our sport real meaning to those who are watching live or on screens across the world.

The inclusion of a women's madison in the Track World Championships was also announced.

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