aboc team wins Victorian Masters Madison Championships
Cam Woolcock and Stuart 'V-Train' Vaughan get the gold!
Last Saturday I teamed up with Hawthorn clubmate Stuart Vaughan for the Victorian Madison Championships at DISC. We’ve teamed up together twice at the Maryborough and at Blackburn’s Australia Day Madison. Maryborough ended abruptly with a trip in an ambulance, and while the Blackburn race went better, we kept out of the top three by the Croydon Avanti-plus combo of Steve Martin and Jamie Goddard.
The championships were an amalgam from the under 19, elite and masters ranks leading to ten teams taking the line for the 200 lap race. Sprints were on every 20 laps and were worth 5, 3, 2 and 1 points for first to fourth. Being positioned up the front is very important in a madison where the shape of the race can change rapidly, due to the small accelerations caused by the slings. We were immediately on the back foot with me starting at the wrong end of the bunch. The pace was on pretty early with teams at the front prepared to put in to keep others out of position. Gaps were appearing in front of us and it took ages to move up to the top five. This expenditure took us out contention in the first sprint.
The strong partnership of Brent Nelson and Shaun O’Callaghan (Croydon Cycles) took off for the first of the four laps that they would take by race end. Titans racing also would go up laps (two) Stu and I picked up the odd minor placing in several sprints, including Stu coming out on top of Brendan Schultz (Titans Racing) in a head to head sprint. I made the mistake of not being in the first half lap to sling in for Stu following the sprint. This could have left us open to being counter-attacked, but I made sure that I made that sling, albeit about a lap too late.
With about fifty laps to go Stu made the call to start driving it. The next thing I saw was Stu go from off the back of the bunch, where I’d slung him in, to off the front of the bunch. For the next five-ish times Stu went in he went to the front and lifted the pace. This had the result we were after: lots of teams being put into difficulty.
Without a working scoreboard it was hard to know where all the teams were positioned as the race unfolded. ABOC ended up fourth overall, five points shy of the Caulfield-Carnegie pair of Cooper and Parker, and only three points clear of the Rapido team of Ollie Phillips and Sean Hurley. Croydon Cycles left no doubt who was the dominant team: they were off the front for a huge chunk of the race ending up four laps up on 38 points. Likewise, Titans racing were clearly the next best team, two laps up on 24 points. The second Caulfield team and Croydon Avanti-plus were the only other teams to finish.
Stu and I were pleasantly surprised to be called up as the winners of the Masters division, as we had understood that the madison was an all-in affair. Steve Martin and Jamie Goddard battled through mechanical difficulties to finish in second place. Andy Burmas and Gregory Brunt took the bronze, resulting in both minor medals heading off to Blackburn Cycling Club.
Big thanks go to Phil Bushel for ably wrangling our team’s water-bottles. A final note of thanks to Caulfield Carnegie Cycling Club for incorporating these championships into the O’Mara Cycles series final.