A big weekend of cycling commences this evening with a one hour criterium on a hot dog circuit in the regional Australian town of Bendigo. The criterium, which will feature a field of 75 men, is a precursor to the weekend’s main attraction – the two day Bendigo International Madison track carnival.
German duo Leif Lampater and Christian Grassman enter the event as the top seeded riders. The duo is fresh off their victory at last weekend’s Melbourne Madison. Lampater/Grassman is just one of the German combinations taking part in Bendigo, with Marc Sanwald and Sebastian Latz also making the trip down to Australia.
Lampater finished third at last year’s event and will again face stiff competition for Sunday’s Madison win. After finishing one and two with different team-mates last year, Leigh Howard will partner Cameron Meyer for this year’s race in a pairing that will be hard to beat.
New Zealand will also be well represented at the event, with Hayden Godfrey keen to get more track miles under his belt ahead of this month’s world championships after being hit by a car last month. While Godfrey will pair with Myron Simpson, compatriots Shane Archbold and Tom Scully will unite for the Madison race.
Rockhampton’s Miles Olman has drawn a strong partner for the race in Tour de France stage winner Leon Van Bon.
While the Madison is the weekend’s main attraction, the competition will be no less in tonight’s criterium, which starts at 6:30 local time. Tour of Oman stage winner Howard will be keen to take the win over Meyer, having out-paced Tom Boonen at the United Arab Emirates race last month.
There’s a host of local riders that will also be keen to upstage the present ProTour riders, like Jackson Law.