A big weekend of racing in Bendigo was spoilt by heavy downpours, with both Friday night’s criterium and Sunday’s Bendigo Madison cancelled by the organiser. While a super-cell thunderstorm hit Victoria’s capital city, the regional town of Bendigo received 59 mm of rain in 48 hours.
With a weekend of racing already scheduled, Friday’s criterium couldn’t be rescheduled. Organisers had initially hoped to move the Bendigo Madison to Monday evening, however the schedule of overseas competitors and ambulance availability forced the organising committee to completely abandon this year’s race.
Bendigo International Madison committee chairman Warren Sinnott said the issue of weather will be looked at going forward. While the much-needed rain was welcomed by Sinnott, he was nonetheless disappointed with the outcome.
"It’s just disappointing that overseas riders did not get the chance to compete here and people didn’t get to see these world champions like Cam Meyer and Leigh Howard," he told The Advertiser. "It would have been Leigh’s third if he had won tonight and these are just things you won’t see, which is really disappointing.
"We know that it’s out of our control, but in this case it’s just a matter of letting it go and concentrating on 2011," he added.
Some big names had traveled to the regional Victorian town for this year’s event, including: Christian Grassman, Leif Lampater, Hayden Godfrey, Cameron Meyer, Leigh Howard, Leon Van Bon and Tom Scully.
It’s not the first race to be battered by massive weather systems this year, with Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne being staged during a European storm that claimed the lives of over 60 people. While nearly 200 people started the race, just 26 made the finish line.