Flautt sprints to Omnium win

Jeff Birchfield • Jun 5, 2016 at 5:54 PM

Oliver Flautt waited for his Lupus Racing teammate Winston David to bridge the gap in Sunday’s Fountain Square Criterium.

When David didn’t catch up to the lead duo of Flautt and Christopher Uberti, it left Flautt in position to fend for himself.

Flautt, a 23-year-old rider from Boulder, Colorado, outsprinted Uberti of Greenville, South Carolina, to win the criterium in a near-photo finish. He edged David in the process for the overall Omnium title by a 60-58 score.

“I had my teammate in the overall and I wanted him to come up to me so we could seal that overall for him,” Flautt said. “Chris Uberti and I were working pretty good up front and I told him that Winston was going to come up and that was the game plan. With two laps to go, Winston was coming fast, but we were going to get to the finish before he could make it, so I played my cards perfectly and was fortunate to beat a very savvy, criterium rider.”

Flautt, who also won Saturday’s Roan Groan road race, had an advantage over most of the field.

With rain throughout the morning and early afternoon, the course was downright treacherous at times. But, Flautt had raced in the Johnson City Omnium three years ago when the weather was similar. So, he knew how to get away from the pack and out of danger.

“It is a technical course,” Flautt said. “I came here about three years ago and got third when it was raining. I had good confidence in myself and our challenge tires. I’m just super happy with our teamwork and I’m happy to finish it off for the guys. It was an amazing weekend in Johnson City.”

Uberti was disappointed, but not disheartened, after he gave it his all in the final laps.

After catching Flautt who had broken away from the field, Uberti rode on his back wheel until making a pass with four laps to go. On the final lap, the riders were side-by-side as they came down the final stretch with Fluatt having barely enough to take the win.

“He had a few teammates behind us and was waiting on them so I had to do all the work,” Uberti said. “He was a little fresher at the finish so he got me.”

Uberti, was like Flautt, in that he stayed in control of his bike throughout the race. That in itself was quite the challenge, The corner around the law offices and Freiberg’s featured two slick cross walks which race organizers labeled as Carnage Corner.

The corner lived up to its name with one nine-bike pile-up. However, Uberti was able to steer clear of the danger.

“I’m more of a technical rider and this is a technical course, so it was good for me,” Uberti said.

The track was even slicker when the Pro women raced, and eventual race winner Rachel McKinnon went down on the first lap.

The 33-year-old from Charleston, South Carolina, recovered and even though there were a few times she slid her back tire, she was able to get away from runner-up Stephanie Nave of Johnson City.

Trevy Ramos of Johnson City was sixth in the women’s Pro race.

Hannah Arensman, an 18-year-old from Valdese, North Carolina, captured the overall omnium title after winning the Roan Groan on Saturday.

Jennifer Caicedo of Greenville, South Carolina, finished second in the overall standings and Nave wound up third.

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