CHASE IS ON

A THIRD Bendigo International Madison victory is in the sights of Eaglehawk's Glenn O'Shea.

The 24-year-old will join forces with South Australia's young gun Alex Edmondson in Sunday night's McCaig Airconditioning Daikin-backed track classic.

Just over a week ago, O'Shea and Edmondson were in the Australian Cyclones line-up which won gold in the teams pursuit at the world track titles in Colombia.

Both have won three rainbow jerseys signifying world champion.

For O'Shea it's not always been a smooth ride to the top.

Back-to-back victories in the Bendigo International Madison in 2008 and '09 was followed by glandular fever.

O'Shea spent most of 2010 off the bike. He said on Friday there were some "tough times" as he doubted whether he would return to racing and at the elite level.

Support from family, friends and the cycling network played a big part in his comeback.

Teaming with long-time coach Tim Decker in the Bendigo International Madison three years ago was a catalyst to a stunning run at the 2012 world titles and London Olympics.

"Tim Decker has played a massive part in my career.

"He kept in contact when things were not going so well and kept opportunities open for me."

O'Shea's feats have earned an unprecedented three Bendigo Bank-backed Bendigo Advertiser-WIN Television Sports Star of the Year awards.

O'Shea moved to Adelaide and has linked up with the likes of  Edmondson, Miles Scotson and more through the South Australia Sports Institute and Cyclones programs.

O'Shea and Edmondson won the Astana World Cup in 2011, have raced in the madison at two world titles, and the Australian Madison.

Sunday night's test on a track O'Shea knows so well is over 200-laps at the Tom Flood Sports Centre in Barnard Street.

"Bendigo is a really tough race," O'Shea said.

"There's so many laps and sprints, and a lot of quality teams on the track."

Those out to thwart O'Shea's bid for a third title and Edmondson's first include reigning champions Leif Lampater and Christian Grassman, New Zealand's Shane Archbold and Dylan Kennett, and many more.

"The last 80 laps is usually where the race is decided. We have to be switched on," O'Shea said.

He said his young team-mate showed a lot of courage in the madison at the world titles.

"It was not the easiest day for Alex. He had ridden brilliantly in the teams pursuit and then won gold in the indvidual pursuit.

"The way he kept going in the madison was fantastic."

Edmondson said Bendigo's classic was one he always looked forward to, especially the chance to race with O'Shea.

"It's an incredible atmosphere."

Edmondson said victory in the individual pursuit at the worlds was "right up there" as a career high.

"I was given a wildcard into the race, so to win the title was an amazing feeling."

A huge weekend of cycling action includes the Andy's Earthmovers Golden Mile Wheelrace, Bill McLachlan Memorial Aces Five-Mile Scratch, Aces Kierin, Gold And Opal Wheelrace (2000m) and more.

The madison starts about 7.40pm on Sunday. 

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