THEY have watched the Bendigo International Madison every March for many years, but now Spring Gully’s Toni Abbisogni and Macedon’s Lauretta Hanson have their own chance to vie for madison glory on the cycling track.
Victoria’s reigning women’s madison champions, Abbisogni and Hanson will take on nine teams in tonight’s Regional Academy Cycling Excellence-backed race at Bendigo’s Tom Flood Sports Centre.
“To be racing at the Bendigo International Madison is always exciting, but to have our women’s madison is fantastic,” Hanson said yesterday.
The 18-year-olds have contested many track races, but rate this as one of the most sought-after wins.
Tonight is the third time they’ve teamed up in a madison.
“It’s a really strong field we are up against,” Abbisogni said of the 60-lap contest which starts about 8.25pm.
“Two of the girls from the AIS, Ashlee Akudinoff and Bella King, will be tough to beat, and the Tasmanian girls (Georgia Baker and Macey Stewart) are strong.”
All-Bendigo teams of Tayla Evans and Emma Jackson, and the Jelbart sisters, Imogen and Marquessa, will aim to capitalise on home-track advantage.
Hanson started racing when she was nine and has represented Victoria at seven national championships on the road or track.
Abbisogni will head back to England tomorrow to resume racing with a UK-based road-track team.
“It’s great to be in Bendigo and in such a big race,” she said.
No matter what happens, all 20 riders are pedalling towards a historic victory tonight.
The grand finale to the athletics-cycling carnival starts about 7.30 on the Barnard Street track.