NEWS
02/19/2012 04:25 EST | Updated 04/20/2012 05:12 EDT

Canada's Tara Whitten races to fourth place in World Cup omnium in London

LONDON, United Kingdom England - Canada's two-time world champion Tara Whitten was held off the podium in the women's omnium for the first time in her career Sunday, finishing fourth at a track cycling World Cup.

The Edmonton rider was in second place heading into Day 2 of the two-day event. She finished first in the individual pursuit, was 12th in the scratch race, and then fourth in the 500-metre time trial.

"The fourth place is always disappointing," Whitten said. "It's the second time this season. At the same time, it's really motivating. Sometimes, when things are too perfect, you almost forget to keep the drive and lose some of that motivation.

"Having made a few mistakes here, now I will work on not making those mistakes again."

Monique Sullivan was 11th in the keirin.

Whitten, the two-time defending omnium world champion, had never missed the podium since the omnium was added to the World Cup tour.

She competed in only two of the four omnium races this season as part of her Olympic preparation plan.

The World Cup was held at the new velodrome that will host track cycling at the London Olympics, and Whitten said she relished the chance to race in the venue and see the city.

"We've had a chance to familiarize ourselves with the venue, with the athletes village, with the environment. When we come back, it'll be familiar to us," Whitten said. "I've experienced two races head to head against a British athlete, so I had a taste of what it might be like at the Olympics.

"The spectators here are incredible. I have never been to a track where it's this loud, and I'm sure the Olympics will be even louder."

Scott Mulder of North Vancouver, B.C., was 34th in the men's sprint, while Hugo Barrette of Cap-aux-Meules, Que., was 36th.