Big guns primed for Bendigo International Madison

Sam Welsford will be the rider to watch in Sunday night's Bendigo International Madison.

Sam Welsford will be the rider to watch in Sunday night's Bendigo International Madison.

World-class riders from five countries will do battle in Sunday night's Symes Motors BMW Bendigo International Madison.

Japan speed machine Minori Shimmura, German pair Achim Burkart and Christian Grassman, Dutch star Nick Stopler and Kiwi trio Aaron Wylie, Harry Waine and Brad Evans will be on track alongside some of Australia's premier track riders in the feature event.

The final field for the Madison was released on Monday.

Grassman and Stopler will be one of the teams to beat, while 25-year-old Burkart will team with Leongatha's Tom McFarlane and Shimmura will be partnered by Castlemaine's Nick Simpson.

Wylie and Waine will be a team to watch after they represented New Zealand at last year's World Junior Track Championships, while countryman Evans will ride with Melbourne's Jensen Plowright.

Nick Yallouris

Nick Yallouris

Young gun Isaac Buckell and veteran Brendan Schultz will fly the flag for Bendigo.

Buckell will ride with his VIS team-mate Godfrey Slattery, while Schultz will partner New South Wales' Ben Harvey.

Reigning champion Rohan Wight is back to defend his title, but this time around he won't have Alex Porter for company.

Wight will ride with in-form South Australian team-mate Josh Harrison.

Harrison, who finished third with Roy Pieters in last year's Madison, won the gold medal in the scratch race at the Oceania Track Championships late last year.

Wight and Harrison have the class to challenge the big boys of the Madison field - Sam Welsford and Kelland O'Brien.

Welsford and O'Brien look set to start favourite for the race after finishing runner-up last year.

The duo will spearhead the Australian track endurance team at next month's Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Their Commonwealth Games team-mates Jordan Kerby and Nick Yallouris will provide a stern test, while three-time Bendigo Madison winner Leigh Howard and young gun Cam Scott add class and speed to a strong edition of the race.

In a first for the race, the Madison field will take to the track on Friday night for a 60-lap spectacular to open the carnival.

Riders will sprint every five laps and gain points to take into Sunday night’s event.

Symes Motors BMW Bendigo International Madison teams:

Team 1 - Sam Welsford (WA), Kelland O'Brien (Vic). Team 2 - Nick Stopler (Ned), Christian Grassman (Ger). Team 3 - Brendan Schultz (Bgo), Ben Harvey (NSW). Team 4 - Minori Shimmura (Japan), Nick Simpson (Vic). Team 5 - Isaac Buckell (Bgo), Godfrey Slattery (Vic). Team 6 - Aaron Wylie (NZ), Harry Waine (NZ). Team 7 - Rohan Wight (SA), Josh Harrison (SA). Team 8 - Achim Burkart (Ger), Tom McFarlane (Vic). Team 9 - Brad Evans (NZ), Jensen Plwright (Vic). Team 10 - Lachie Scott (NSW), Braden O'Shea (SA). Team 11 - Leigh Howard (Vic), Cam Scott (NSW). Team 12 - Zac Gilmore (Tas), Josh Duffy (Tas). Team 13 - Jarrod Drizners (SA), Cooper Sayers (SA). Team 14 - Luke Plapp (Vic), Nathan Bof (Vic). Team 15 - Jordan Kerby (Qld), Nick Yallouris (NSW).