An inaugural Launceston Madison is set to double the Silverdome's carnivals involvement in a major shake-up of Tasmania's Christmas series.
With the Devonport Carnival losing a day, Latrobe being cancelled and Hobart rescheduled, a window opened and Launceston City Cycling Club seized the opportunity to stage two nights of track action in the space of three days.
Club president Ian Loft said the December 30 event, which will feature senior men's, women's and junior madisons, had been a long-term ambition and may become an annual celebration of the frenetic Olympic discipline.
"For a club whose DNA is in six-day racing and madisons at York Park, this is huge," he said.
"It's been on our mind for a long time to run a madison because it's the ultimate for track riders.
"From when the Silverdome was created we always wanted to have an event like this in the Christmas week but it was never feasible previously.
"But with one carnival leaving, Hobart moving and the runners saying they need two days' rest between races, it has opened the door for us."
Named after New York's Madison Square Garden where it was first run, the track event features teams of two riders alternating in and out of the race and involves a distinctive slingshot handover.
Tasmania has a rich history in the event with Tasmanian Institute of Sport coach Matthew Gilmore a former world champion and Olympic silver medallist while Amy Cure and Georgia Baker also won silver medals at the 2019 world championships in Poland. Baker also contested the event at the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year.
Loft said the event would complement the Launceston Carnival which will run as normal on December 28.
The Launceston Wheels will be the only handicap races at the carnival. The other events will all be bunch races with rolling starts to avoid the need for pushers which cause complications under COVID restrictions.
Details of the madison races are being finalised but the men's race is likely to take about an hour.
A maximum of 24 riders are allowed on the track together, meaning just 12 teams will compete.
In addition to the madisons, the program will include a national championship in the 'miss and out' event where the last placed rider is eliminated on specific laps.
Loft said the second Silverdome night ticks a lot of boxes and should entice a strong field of riders.
"We need to use the Silverdome more and this is the ideal opportunity. All the planets aligned and now we're waiting to see the reaction from riders but I believe it will be positive.
"For many riders it's a chance to do something they cannot normally and would have to go to the mainland to get this sort of experience.
"It's a great opportunity and we're hoping it won't be just a one-off as with Devonport not running on the 30th there will always be a vacancy.
"It created a lot of interest and after last year's shutout we're wanting to see what the response will be."
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