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34th Bendigo Madison - IM

Australia, March 10-12, 2006

The heat's on in Bendigo

By Les Clarke in Bendigo

With key match ups and a truly international field, this edition of the Bendigo International Madison promises to be one of the most hotly-contested races in the event's 34-year history. Add to this expected temperatures approaching 36 degrees Celsius and the heat's definitely on in country Victoria. Last year's winners, Simon Clarke and Nic Sanderson, will race against each other in 2006, with Sanderson riding with Sean Finning and Clarke joining SA.com-AIS teammate Miles Olman to form a dangerous duo. All four riders bring excellent form into the event, and as such stand out as overwhelming favourites.

These two teams will be well and truly marked by a field that includes Scottish, English, Japanese and local riders. Scots Evan Oliphant and James McCallum join forces to try and get a win before the Commonwealth Games while Englishman Kristian House will ride with Victorian David Pell - they'll be two teams to look out for. Although not as experienced as some of the teams, West Australian brothers Cameron and Travis Meyer may prove to be the surprise packet of the meet; with national championship medals under their belts they are the future of Australian track endurance riding and could get up for the win.

Over the weekend there'll also be a complete programme of junior and graded racing, adding to the spectacle at the Tom Flood sports ground. And after the opening night's city criterium it looks likely that an open, fast Madison will be the order of the weekend in Bendigo, and with $20,000 in prizemoney on offer, there's not doubt it'll be lucrative for whoever is able to get up on Sunday night.

For more information: www.madison.org.au