Austrian Stefan Mastaller will take on all comers in the Auswide Bank Cyclefest International and will compete with Aussie   Stephen Hall.
Austrian Stefan Mastaller will take on all comers in the Auswide Bank Cyclefest International and will compete with Aussie Stephen Hall. Brian Cassidy

Hall back to claim madison crown in second appearance

CYCLING: If you can't beat them why not join them?

Last year, Stephen Hall was beaten by an Austrian pair as he tried to win the madison at what was called the Cycling Spectacular.

He finished sixth in the event.

He returns this year for the Auswide Bank Cyclefest International and will compete with an Austrian of his own, Stefan Mastaller.

"I've picked up another really good quality Austrian rider,” Hall said.

"The Europeans are just so experienced in the madison.

"For most of us in the southern hemisphere, we are behind the eight ball because they race it as a junior.

"It's going to be great to join forces and hopefully get a win on Saturday night.”

Hall comes to the event in good form after competing at the recent Six Day event in Melbourne and the Tasmanian Christmas Carnival.

He is also a national champion in the teams pursuit, after winning the event last year.

Hall said it was an easy decision to compete in Bundy again as it prepared him for big races later in the year and allowed him to earn UCI ranking points.

The points also attracted Mastaller who is enjoying the sights of Bundaberg so far.

He said the duo had never competed before but certainly knew each other.

"I met Stephen like three years ago,” he said.

"We raced a lot together, actually we raced against each other.

"We've never raced the madison together so its a first for us but our harmony will be fine.”

Mastaller, 23, also has experience of competing at the top in the madison, representing Austria in the World Cup last year.

He's also been busy competing at the Six Day recently.

"I am well prepared from the racing I've done in the past couple of weeks,” he said.

Mastaller hopes the event helps him to qualify for upcoming World Cups and even the Olympics next year so Austria can have spots in the Games.

The action starts later this afternoon with qualifying for the final.



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