A SIX-TIME world champion, Cameron Meyer is in the field for the Bendigo International Madison track cycling classic to be raced on March 10.
Meyer’s inclusion to the 32-rider field for the McCaig Airconditioning and Daikin-backed race was confirmed yesterday.
Negotiations were continuing last night with the world’s newest omnium champion, New Zealand’s Aaron Gate, to join forces with the Western Australian star.
At his last appearance on Bendigo’s track, Meyer teamed with Geelong’s Leigh Howard to lap the field three times on their way to one of the most remarkable victories in madison history.
“It was the first time I had seen a standing ovation during the race,” madison chief executive officer Rik McCaig said.
“Cam is making his way back from injury, but was really keen to race here.
“He has said he is not at the form he was in 2011, but he really wants to compete,” McCaig said of the Orica-GreenEDGE rider’s intent.
“Cam is one of the
most humble champions I know.
“He rang me last weekend asking if there was any chance of him being able to race in the madison.”
McCaig said Meyer and Gate would be formidable opponents.
“They are two of the best all-round cyclists in the world,” he said.
“Cam Meyer won the madison at the world championships in consecutive years (2010 and ’11), has won the points score at the world titles three times, and won gold in the teams pursuit in 2010.”
His medal tally at world championship level includes three silver and a bronze.
Meyer’s goldrush at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games included the points score, scratch race, and teams pursuit.
The highlight of Gate’s career was winning gold in the omnium at last weekend’s finale to the world titles in Minsk, Belarus.
The 22-year-old ended Glenn O’Shea’s reign as world omnium champion.
Gate was a bronze medallist in the teams pursuit at last year’s London Olympics.
A team-mate in that campaign, Marc Ryan, will be a rival as he teams with another of New Zealand’s best, Shane Archbold, in Bendigo.
There will be five world champions hurtling around Bendigo’s track in the madison.
Swiss star Franco Marvulli, a previous world champion in the madison, faces a huge task chasing back-to-back wins in Bendigo.
Major threats to Marvulli’s quest include Belgium’s Kenny de Ketele, winner of the madison at last year’s world titles in Melbourne, and South Australia’s young gun Alex Edmondson, a gold medallist in the teams pursuit in Minsk.
The Bendigo International Madison, which will start a couple of hours after the Bendigo Bank Spirit’s play in the WNBL grand final, will cap a huge weekend of sport in the city.
Among the many highs on the athletics-cycling card at the madison are the City of Greater Bendigo Thousand (120m), the Bendigo Bank Black Opal 400m, the Flack Advisory Black Pearl 400m for women, Andy’s Earthmovers Golden Mile Wheelrace, and Flack Advisory backmarkers mile.
A carnival first will be the women’s madison, sponsored by the Regional Academy of Cycling Excellence, on the Saturday night.
The cycling action begins on the Thursday night when the Frank McCaig Memorial Wheelrace is contested on the track, and will be followed by the MyJet Criterium in the CBD on March 8.