22/03/2011 - I had a great week in Bendigo Australia. After the Melbourne Madison Brad Evans, Shane Archbold, Tom Scully and I all rode up from the edge of Melbourne to arrive in the beautiful town/city of Bendigo. Regarded by many and now myself as one of the worlds cycling havens. Boasting smooth and scenic roads all around the region and a historic 417m outdoor track, Bendigo is famous for producing many of Australia's top cyclists.
The Bikenz team were in Bendigo with mixed objectives, for good kms and training, track racing and experience. We had 3 or 4 solid days out on the road for more than 3 hours followed by a couple of motorpacing sessions on the track in the afternoon, for the best part of the week the weather was gorgeous. The only day we saw some serious rain was 5 hours before the big 80km bendigo madison - the torrential down poor would have cause a lot of stress with some of the organisers considering the previous year was also rained out! hard to believe but before that it hadn't rained in Bendigo for more than 8 years. It now rains regularly - strange fact.
Anyway the Bendigo Madison has some serious history behind it. The race has been held for 50 years now. As we were looking at the race pamphlet we could see many famous cyclists such as Mark Cavendish, Bradley Wiggins, Mark Rensaw and even our own coaches Tim Carswell and Dayle Cheatly had all ridden the even before. A lot of history and folk lore stems from the event. Thousands of the people of Bendigo came out to support and be a part of the event this year. Not to mention about 2 million bugs littering the track and swarming the flood lights.
I rode the race with Brad. We didn't have much hope in winning the madison but our goal was to help the other kiwis in their bid for glory. We also wanted to finish!
We ended up claiming 7 points - there were sprints every 5 laps for 200 laps. We helped Scud and Novie into 2nd, but could do nothing to stop the force of Cam Meyer and Leigh Howard putting an astonishing 3 laps on the field, a feat that had never been done before in the event.
I had a great time and am already looking forward to going back next year.
Just recently I finished the R&R sports tour in Dunedin, a weekend tour with 5 stages - a lot tougher than I expected, provided me with some good racing kms and a bit of a battering to the legs. I managed to pull off one stage win on the 2nd day from a breakaway of 3 riders. But with higher aspirations for the tour I was slightly disappointed.
This Friday the 25th of March I head off to Europe for the next 5 months. I will let you know when I get there.
Read more of Cam's cycling stories by clicking here.