Madison makes money move

Joel Peterson | Bendigo Weekly | 23-Feb-2018

The madison will have a new event and more prizemoney in 2018. Photo: Andrew Perryman.

FOR the first time in its history, both the men’s and women’s events at this year’s Bendigo International Madison carnival will carry equal prize money.

The event’s committee made the announcement this week as they unveiled a new naming rights sponsor for the event and released a revamped Friday night program for the Labour Day long weekend event.

Madison committee chairman Warren Sinnott said the additional sponsorship funding had allowed organisers to offer equal prizemoney for men’s and women’s events.

“I think it’s just recognising the importance of women in sport, and anything we can do to promote sport both for men and women is  good thing,” he said.

“The whole idea of Saturday is women’s night. 

“The Saturday night recognises women in sport, and that’s a highlight of the real carnival and we have the women’s madison and the women’s 400 metres and it’s a great night.”

The madison carnival, this year backed by Symes Motors BMW, will again kick off on Thursday night (March 8) with local club racing and the Frank McCaig Wheelrace, before a new madison prelude race on Friday night.

The 60-lap event will see the winners take a points advantage into Sunday night’s 200-lap classic.

Saturday night is again being billed as women’s night, with the finals of the 400m Black Pearl footrace and the women’s madison the headline events.

Sunday night finishes proceedings with finals in cycling and athletic events, including the madison, Black Opal 400m, Bendigo Thousand, Bendigo Bank Golden Mile and the madison.

“The start of the carnival with the local track events and the junior races are a big part of the event and are really important to what we do,” he said.

“The juniors are the future of the event and of cycling and athletics so to have them involved is terrific.”

The madison prelude is also a new initiative, and sees the international riders lining up on Sunday roll out on Friday night to earn a valuable head start on their competitors.

“To have the guys on track for an extra night is great, and it really adds some excitement into the start of the event,” Sinnott said.

“Then that of course carries into Sunday when we’ll have the major finals of the cycling and athletics.”

Sinnott said fields in cycling and athletics are shaping up well for the event, which is only a fortnight away.

It is one of the last major cycling events before April’s Commonwealth Games, a factor he hopes works in the event’s favour.

While he wouldn’t be drawn on names to line up in this year’s field, he gave an indication that some big names would return to Bendigo.

The main event will be followed by the traditional fireworks display, but if this week’s news is any indication there could be fireworks on the track as well.


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