Witmitz, O'Brien record strong finish in Bendigo madison

HORSHAM cycling duo Sam Witmitz and Mark O'Brien turned heads at the Bendigo International Madison.

Competing against some of the best madison riders in the world at the weekend, the O'Brien-Witmitz team finished eighth.

Madison is a form of cycling that originated in the United States that pairs two riders together, riding in turns.

Team-mates are required to 'sling' each other into race by grabbing their partner's arm and transferring their momentum.

The Bendigo Madison is about 85 kilometres long, with points awarded on 34 sprints throughout the race.

The team with the highest number of laps or the most points in case of a tie wins the race.

Witmitz and O'Brien finished eighth in a field of 16 teams.

O'Brien said the duo had caught the attention of some of the top riders despite limited preparation.

"There were some really, really good riders there on the track," he said.

"At one point we were running second with about 100 laps to go.

"I think we surprised a few riders out there, and it might not show up in the results but we did well." Entrants in the race included South Australian duo Glenn O'Shea and Alex Edmondson, who won the team pursuit at last week's world championships in Columbia.

"It was a world-class field and we were happy to be right in the thick of it throughout the entire race" - Sam Witmitz

World-class German pair Leif Lampater and Christian Grassman also entered the Bendigo madison, which was won by Sam Crome and Dutch rider Roy Pieters.

O'Brien and Witmitz also entered in several other events, including the criterium on Friday night.

Witmitz finished second in the criterium, narrowly losing to fellow Victorian Brenton Jones.

Witmitz said the pair enjoyed its weekend of racing.

"I had a good Friday night, but it was pretty frustrating not to get the win," he said.

"It was good to be lining up with Marko we both know each other's strengths and weaknesses so it's a perfect combo.

"It was a world-class field and we were happy to be right in the thick of it throughout the entire race."

Witmitz will ride at the Mooloolaba criterium in Queensland at the weekend, with a team training camp in Jindabyne the following weekend.

O'Brien said he and Witmitz were keen to return to the Bendigo International Madison next year.

"Bendigo suits us quite well ," he said.

"Maybe next year we'll train for it a bit more and line up for the national championships."

O'Brien will contest the Adelaide Tour next month before riding in the Tour of Japan in May.

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