Friday night's 60-lap Bendigo International Madison prelude has set the scene for what could be one of the closest contested races in modern times.
Queenslander Blake Quick and New Zealander Dylan Kennett will take the lead into Sunday night's 200-lap feature after edging out WA duo Stephen Hall and Michael Frieberg in the prelude.
Both teams finished on 23 points on Friday night, but Quick and Kennett were awarded the victory because they crossed the line ahead of the WA pair in the last of 10 sprints.
The victory earned Quick and Kennett 10 points for Sunday night's race, while Hall and Frieberg will start with nine points.
South Australian duo Rohan Wight and Josh Harrison loom as the team to beat.
They finished third on Friday night and will take eight points into Sunday night.
Wight, a previous winner of the Bendigo International Madison in 2017, in particular looked in great form as he made two significant breaks from the field during the prelude.
Jensen Plowright and Bill Simpson (seven points) were fourth in the prelude ahead of German stars Hans Pirius and Moritz Augenstein (six points).
Josh Duffy and Conor Leahy (five points), Bendigo youngsters Blake Agnoletto and Connor Sens (four points), Bendigo duo Isaac Buckell and Brendan Schultz (three points) and Graeme Frislie and Henry Dietze (two points) rounded out the multiple point winners for the night.
In the past two years, world team pursuit champions Sam Welsford and Kell O'Brien were clear favourites in the Madison.
Sunday night's race could be won by any one of five or six teams.
The Bendigo International Madison riders will be on track on Saturday night for the feature individual events of the carnival - the Golden Mile Wheelrace and Bill McLachlan Memorial scratch race.
The Golden Mile final is scheduled for about 9.15pm, with the Bill McLachlan Memorial to close proceedings at about 9.45pm.
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