Regional Victoria is set to host a big few days of cycling with the Bendigo International Madison kicking off this evening and running all the way through to Sunday in the event's 40th year.
The highlight of the four days is the International Madison, run on Sunday, where current Madison world champions Cameron Meyer and Leigh Howard will team up at the event for the very first time.
The pair should have raced together in 2010; however, both the Madison and criterium were forced to be cancelled due to a freak downpour where 59mm of rain fell in 48 hours.
Howard paired up with Glen O'Shea in 2008 and 2009 to become the first team to successfully defend the Bendigo International Madison since 2000 Olympic gold medallists Brett Aitken and Scott McGrory in 2001 and 2002.
Also lining up in the showcase event are Tour de France and Vuelta a España stage winner Leon van Bon and Germany's Leif Lampater, who took out last weekend's Melbourne Madison and are expected to provide the most resistance to the world champions.
Prior to their Australian campaigns, van Bon and Lampater competed in the Rotterdam Six-Day. There, van Bon was victorious with Danny Stam while Lampater and his partner Niki Terpstra finished fifth.
A strong local contingent features Australia's under-19 Madison champions Jackson Law and Caleb Ewan while O'Shea will team with Tim Decker, who is lining up for a record 15th start.
The comeback of former world track champion and Olympian Mark Jamieson continues after he was a late entrant to the Melbourne Madison. The 26-year-old became eligible to race again on January 27 after he had served a two-year Cycling Australia ban for misconduct.
In July last year, Jamieson received a suspended two-and-a-half year jail sentence for sex offences. He was also placed on a non-parole period of 12 months and a three-year good behaviour bond.
Jamieson will again ride with Jamie Crass as he did last weekend.
The lead up events include today's Frank McCaig Memorial Wheelrace; Friday's one hour criterium which runs through Pall Mall and Rosalind Park; and a cycling and athletics carnival featuring Commonwealth Games gold medallist Sean Wroe on Saturday.