Bendigo International Madison attracts world-class field

WORLD-CLASS: European stars Nick Stopler and Christian Grassman will return to Bendigo for another crack at the International Madison.
WORLD-CLASS: European stars Nick Stopler and Christian Grassman will return to Bendigo for another crack at the International Madison.

Next month's Symes Motors BMW Bendigo International Madison is shaping as one of the most intriguing races in the event’s famed history.

Five of Australia's team for April's Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast will do battle against some of Europe's premier madison and six day event riders.

German star Christian Grassman will again team with Dutch speedster Nick Stopler as they try to win the title as a team for the first time.

Grassman won the feature event with countryman Leif Lampater in 2013 and looked set to add a second title to his name with Stopler two years ago, but the pair were sensationally pipped at the post by Dan Fitter and Callum Scotson.

Another German - Achim Burkhart - will make his Bendigo International debut.

Burkhart is in good form having won the six day event in Geneva and the European Derny Championship in recent months.

Burkhart will be partned by Bendigo star Sam Crome.

Crome caused one of the biggest upsets in Madison history when he won the 2014 event with Roy Pieters.

Crome is arguably in career-best form having won the final stage of the Herald Sun Tour this year.

Bendigo young gun Isaac Buckell will make his second-straight appearance in the Bendigo International Madison.

He'll again team with his Victorian Institute of Sport team-mate Godfrey Slattery.

Crome, Buckell and Slattery will get the opportunity to fly under the radar, with the Aussie track stars for the Commonwealth Games to garner most of the attention.

Sam Welsford and Kell O'Brien will join forces for the second consecutive year.

Welsford and O'Brien were one of the favourites last year and they didn't let the big crowd down by finishing a solid second behind Rohan Wight and Alex Porter.

Sam Welsford

Sam Welsford

Bendigo is a happy hunting ground for Welsford. The Olympic silver medalist in the team pursuit has won the past two Golden Mile Wheelrace finals at the Madison carnival.

Two more Commonwealth Games squad members - individual pursuit world champion Jordan Kerby and Nick Yallouris - shape as potentially the biggest threat to Welsford and O'Brien.

The fifth member of the Aussie squad for the Gold Coast to ride in Bendigo will be Leigh Howard.

The speed machine has already won the Bendigo International Madison three times in 2008, 2009 and 2011.

After winning the race previously with Bendigo's own Glenn O'Shea and multiple world champion Cam Meyer, this time around Howard has young gun Cam Scott as his sidekick.