Women mad for madison
Olympic gold medalist Anna Meares. Photo: Ken Robertson
AUSTRALIAN women will race for what would be a landmark national madison title only if cycling's world governing body takes the final step in equalising the sport's track program.
In a historic women's madison last weekend, six female teams competed in the discipline for the first time at Victoria's annual Christmas track carnival.
Cycling Victoria pushed for the introduction of the women's madison to the racing program for the meeting but did not have approval to give it the same status as the men's event, which was a race for a national crown.
Olympic sprint champion Anna Meares said the madison proved hugely popular for the women who raced it, and tipped that many more than six teams would enter next year.
''They are just so eager to have a go at it. They want to do it,'' she said. ''So I think the UCI will be very surprised and overwhelmed with the interest internationally if they give the opportunity.''
Meares' London Olympics teammate Annette Edmondson was one who raced the women's madison last weekend and said she would be disappointed if she did not have the same opportunity to race for a national title in the discipline next year.
Cycling Australia takes its lead on what disciplines qualify for national titles from the UCI's list of world championship events. At the track world championships there is no women's madison.
''I'd love to see a women's madison. We've talked about that for a long time,'' Cycling Australia's high-performance manager Kevin Tabotta said.
''If the UCI decided tomorrow that the women's madison was a world championship event, then it would go on our program.
''I see huge potential in it simply for the development of skills.''