A SHOWDOWN involving five world champions – reigning or past – will be a highlight of tomorrow night’s Bendigo International Madison track cycling classic.
There will be 16 teams vying for glory when the the McCaig Airconditioning and Daikin-backed 200-lap contest starts about 7.45pm at the Tom Flood Sports Centre in Barnard Street.
Carnival CEO Rik McCaig believes at least five teams will be going into this race challenging for the “favourites” tag.
A six-time world champion on the track, Western Australia’s Cameron Meyer will join forces with New Zealand’s Aaron Gate, the man who ended the reign of Eaglehawk’s Glenn O’Shea as world champion at last month’s titles in Minsk, Belarus.
Two years ago, Meyer teamed with Leigh Howard from Waurn Ponds near Geelong to win Bendigo’s great race.
Meyer and Swiss star Franco Marvulli are the only contenders in tomorrow night’s field who have experienced the thrill of winning the Bendigo International Madison.
The world madison champion in 2003 and ‘07, Marvulli’s pursuit of consecutive wins in Bendigo, a feat achieved by several greats, will not be easy.
He and Dutch rider Nick Stopler will pit their pursuit and sprinting skills against the calibre of Germany’s Leif Lampater and Christian Grassman, New Zealanders Shane Archbold and Marc Ryan, Dutchman Roy Pieters and Belgium’s Kenny de Ketele.
Recent trips Down Under by de Ketele included teaming with Howard in the Australian Madison, and winning the madison at last year’s world titles in Melbourne.
The Belgian will race in Bendigo for the first time.
Mandurang’s George Tansley and South Australia’s Miles Scotson were the No.1 Australian team in the race for the national title last December.
Scotson began the Bendigo carnival by winning the Frank McCaig Memorial Wheelrace (2000m) on Thursday night.
The duo from the Tim Decker-coached South Australia Sports Institute have the skills and track nous to be well in contention.
A gold medallist in the teams pursuit at the world titles in Belarus, Alex Edmondson from South Australia will join forces with the powerful Luke Davison.
They are arguably the best chances of an all-Australian victory.
New Zealanders Archbold and Ryan will not be overawed by the opposition. Ryan won bronze in the teams pursuit at the London Olympics, and Archbold has always raced well on the unique D-shaped Bendigo track.
There wil be lots of hometown support for Todd Schintler and Brendan Schultz, as well as with former Bendigo-based cyclist Haydn Bradbury.
Although the odds of winning are remote, NSW cyclists Jay Dutton and Nathan Bradshaw will be keen to race well in the Bendigo Advertiser colours, as will the likes of Mark Jamieson,
Tyler Spurrell, Scott Law, Jeremy Scott and Harry Carpenter against a star-studded field.
2013 Madison Teams
Team 1. Franco Marvulli (Switzerland) and Nick Stopler (Netherlands).
Team 2. Leif Lampater and Christian Grassman (Germany).
Team 3. Todd Schintler (Bendigo) and Mark Jamieson (Tasmania).
Team 4. Jay Dutton and Nathan Bradshaw (NSW).
Team 5. Cameron Meyer (WA) and Aaron Gate (New Zealand).
Team 6. Jeremy Scott and Jordan Davies (NSW).
Team 7. Haydn Bradbury and Cameron Parleviet (Victoria).
Team 8. Shane Archbold and Marc Ryan (New Zealand).
Team 9. Kenny de Ketele (Belgium) and Roy Pieters (Netherlands).
Team 10. Brendan Schultz (Bendigo) and Tyler Spurrell (VIC).
Team 11. Alex Edmondson (SA) and Luke Davison (NSW).
Team 12. John Harrison (SA) and Sam Welsford (WA).
Team 13. George Tansley (Bendigo) and Miles Scotson (SA).
Team 14. Jack Edwards and Brad Heffernan (NSW).
Team 15. Scott Law and Aaron Donnelly (NSW).
16. Luke Parker (VIC) and Harry Carpenter (SA)
The grand finale to the athletics-cycling carnival starts about 7.30 on the Barnard Street track.