Field to be reduced for Cyclefest madison
CYCLING: Improving the safety for riders has seen the organisers of the Auswide Bank Cyclefest International reduce the field for the final of the madison for both the women and men this year.
The move was announced by Cyclefest International executive director Jason Templeman at the all-in media call yesterday as riders arrived in the city.
Last year's men's race was marred by a crash in the opening few laps, which saw riders fly over the velodrome and into cars and spectators viewing the race at the back of the circuit.
Templeman said to prevent that from happening there will be qualifying on Friday to reduce the field to 12 teams for the finals on Saturday.
"This is the first time in the history of the event there's actually qualifying to get into the madison final,” he said.
"The UCI technical regulations allows us to put 18 teams on the track if we do wish so.
"But in consultation with Louise Jones, who is the UCI chief here for this event, we decided that there would be 12 teams for the finals.
"We don't want to see a repeat of (last year) and we want to put the best race on the track.”
The event will be historic as well with women competing in the madison for the first time and potentially scoring UCI points.
The same applies to the men who will also battle for UCI points that could qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games next year.
The track program for the Cyclefest starts on Friday.