Two American teams have entered the Delaware North Australian Madison Championship at Vodafone Arena this Saturday, February 5. The American team pursuit squad, consisting of Gui Nelessen, Bobby Lea, Josh Kerkhof and Mike Friedman, have spent the last two months training in Tasmania ahead of this month's Sydney World Cup and are keen to impress in their first hit out in front of the Melbourne crowd.
Nelessen and Lea will ride as one pairing in the Madison, with Friedman and Kerkhof the other, and based on recent race form experts believe that Nelessen and Lea are a chance of winning this event.
Adam Murchie, media and relations manager with Madison organiser Cyclists International said, "Nelessen rode brilliantly in the Launceston and Burnie Criteriums over Christmas whilst Lea impressed many on the flat Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals velodromes with a strong turn of speed and cagey race tactics".
However, Australian riders want to prevent a repeat of last year where an international team (the German pairing of Lars Teutenberg and Erik Weispfennig) rode away with the victory. A strong Australian contingent will make sure that the race is taken to the Americans and they fight for every point they earn.
The Delaware North Madison runs over 50 kms or 200 laps. It is hugely important for the Australian based riders as by winning this event they will be guaranteed selection into the National Team to contest the World Cups and/or World Championships. The Queensland pairing of Miles Olman and Ashley Hutchinson are favoured to take out the event, however they will be closely followed by Steve Wooldridge and Tim Decker and Darren Young and Matthew Goss.
The Madison will also be supported by a number of feature events including the Vodafone Keirin Series, an Aces Sprint Derby and a number of Scratch Race and elimination events.
Tickets are on sale at Ticketek (132 849 or www.ticketek.com) from $20 or at the Vodafone Arena Box Office on the day of the event.
The team line-up for Saturday:
1 NSW Institute of Sport
Chris Sutton (NSW) Aust Under 23 Road Champion
Chris Pascoe (NSW) Represented Australia at Junior World Champs
2 Australian Abalone Exports
Nick Sanderson (Ararat) Represented Australia at Junior World Champs
Simon Clarke (Carnegie) Current Junior World Champion/Aust U23 Champion
3 The Locker Group
Steve Wooldridge (NSW) Current Olympic, World and Commonwealth Champion
Tim Decker (Bendigo) Victorian Champion and placegetter in Bendigo Madison
4 Vero Insurance
Warren Scott (NSW) NSW Champion and top track cyclist
David Pell (Bendigo) Victorian Champion and International cyclist
5 Drapac Property - Porsche
Mitchell Docker (Brunswick) Current Junior World Champion
Matthew Rex (SA) Stage Winner in Sun Tour and Bay Classic Sprint King
Steve Martin (Blackburn) Represented Australia at Oceania Championships
Andrew Steele (Blackburn) Good local club cyclist
7 Jefferson Ford
Mike Freidman (USA) Member of USA Teams Pursuit Team
Josh Kerkhof (USA) Member of USA Teams Pursuit Team
8 Queensland Academy of Sport
Ashley Hutchinson (QLD) Current World Champion
Miles Olman (QLD) 3 times Junior World Champion
Darren Young (TAS) Australian Champion and former winner of this event
Matthew Goss (TAS) Dual Junior World Champion
10 Lockwood Security Concepts
Patrick Shaw (Ballarat) Represented Australia at Junior World Champs
Tommy Nankervis (SA) Top track cyclist and state representative
12 Delaware North
Steve Fitzpatrick (NSW)
Peter Fitzpatrick (NSW) This team are NSW Madison Champions
Sean Finning (Castlemaine) Current Aust Madison Champion
Richard England (Blackburn) Australian representative and National Champion
14 Bicycle Technologies (BT)
Hamish Taylor (Brunswick) Top level local cyclist - has ridden this event before
Dylan Boone (Carnegie) Has just come from Bay Classic and other top events
15 Mercure Grand Hotel on Swanston
Gui Nelessen (USA) USA Teams Pursuiter. Placed in Launceston Classic
Bobby Lea (USA) Member of USA Teams Pursuit Team