I am back again for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge so have made the commitment to blog every day in April except the Sundays. Some bloggers choose a Theme, and others do random posts. For me, a theme works better, so the theme I’ve chosen for 2016 is Bendigo, a large provincial city in central Victoria, Australia. I live just outside Bendigo and have been in this area for only 9 years, so feel I still have ‘visitors eyes’.
B is for Madison or to be exact – The Bendigo International Madison. This cycling event is held annually in March, and has become a major event on the Bendigo calendar, with crowds growing annually, as the interest in cycling grows. The event began in 1972 and is now a full weekend cycling carnival
The madison, as a cycling event is quite spectacular, usually with many crashes and many nail biting lead changes. In this race, 17 pairs of riders race over 200 laps of the Tom Flood Sports Centre. It is quite a complicated race, explained below:
“Riders firstly try to gain a lap advantage over other teams or score sprint points during the 34 sprints dotted throughout the race. At any one time there are riders sprinting, changing or attacking in this frantic event.
The pairings change or sling each other into the race about every lap and a half and only one rider from the pairing is in the race at a time. Tactics play a huge part and at times can be utterly confusing to watch.
To put it simply the race can be won in a number of ways. A lap can be gained on the field. If one or more pairings take a lap on the field all other teams are then a lap down. Once the lap has been granted the sprints which are on offer are then open to all in the field, not just to those laps up.
If no teams gain laps it becomes a sprint race. Points in the sprints awarded are 5, 3, 2 & 1. These points are accumulated throughout the event.
If no laps are taken it is the team with the highest points who wins. If some teams are on the same lap again it is down to the points scored from the sprints. If one team is one lap up on everyone else then the points will not come into it as they have covered the distance quicker.
It can be confusing but if you watch the scoreboard and listen to the commentators you soon pick up who the teams are to watch in this magnificent event”. (source: bendigomadison.com.au)
Cycling is very popular in Bendigo, and has produced many world class riders. Many of these local riders participate in the race, along with a growing number of international riders.
Even though The Madison is definitely the main event, The Bendigo International Madison is a cycling and athletics event, with athletics run during the day and cycling at night.