Former madison world champion Matthew Gilmore has thrown his support behind plans to make the event the focus of a new-look Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals series.
The Tasmanian Institute of Sport cycling coach is proud of the state's pedigree in the track cycling endurance event and believes introducing a Launceston Madison will help ensure that continues into the future.
"I think it's got real merit," Gilmore said of Launceston City Cycling Club's proposal for a night of madison racing at the Silverdome on December 30 to complement the Launceston Carnival two nights earlier.
"I'll be interested to see if it does not rob Peter to pay Paul but considering there is a gap in the program, I think it is worth a real go to test the water.
"All athletes involved in track cycling get excited about madisons which, traditionally, are the longest event on the track and a real test of endurance and physical ability.
"It is a combination of tactics, skills and the physical component. It has elements of the scratch race and points score with the complexity of having to change with a partner.
"Sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail - it's a tough event if you are having a bad day, or your partner is.
"But from a coaching perspective, it's a really well-rounded event that emphasizes an athlete's ability."
With the Devonport Carnival losing a day, Latrobe being cancelled and Hobart rescheduled, a window opened in the annual schedule and LCCC seized the opportunity.
Club president Ian Loft said the event will feature senior men's, women's and junior madisons - a frenetic Olympic track discipline featuring teams of two riders alternating in and out of the race via a distinctive slingshot handover.
Sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nailMatthew Gilmore on madisons
The club proposed a race of up to 12 teams but Gilmore said world champs can have 18, meaning 36 riders on the track for up to an hour.
"The great thing about the Silverdome is it's a 285-metre track as opposed to 250m tracks used at world champs, so being slightly bigger makes it slightly safer for developing athletes," Gilmore said.
"I'm really excited by the possibility of juniors doing a madison because it's important for their development. The AusCycling junior series has madisons and this gives another bite at the cherry.
"From a TIS perspective, we've got some really good Tasmanian athletes that are developing and, through COVID, have not had this opportunity so to have it in their own state will be fantastic.
"We could put a Tassie field together but having state institute riders down here would really complement the race and make it a great stand-alone event.
"Hopefully we will be able to attract really good athletes and when we have that it is a real spectacle for the audience. The madison does attract the purest. It's an exciting event and coming off the Olympics should spark some real interest."
Gilmore said Tasmania, and Launceston in particular, pioneered six-day races of which the madison was the strongest component.
"We have a really strong history in madisons and they have produced some really good bike riders. The biggest madison in Australia is Bendigo and so many Tasmanians have done well there."
Gilmore joins Danny Clark, Frank Atkins, Tom Sawyer, Michael Grenda and Josh Duffy as Tasmanians on the Bendigo honour role.
Representing his country of birth, Belgium, Gilmore won a world title with Etienne De Wilde in 1998, added a bronze medal with Iljo Keisse in 2005 and a silver at the Sydney Olympics.
He became national madison coach after which the likes of Cam Meyer, Leigh Howard and Callum Scotson delivered two gold medals, two silvers and two bronzes for Australia while Amy Cure landed a silver medal with fellow Tasmanian Georgia Baker in 2019 and a bronze with South Australian Alex Manly in 2017.
Baker contested the event with South Australian Annette Edmondson at this year's Tokyo Olympics and is a strong chance to do the same again at next week's UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Roubaix which include both men's (50km) and women's (30km) madisons.
Gilmore said several elements to the Launceston Madison schedule should prove attractive to riders.
"Having the national elimination championship will attract athletes from all around Australia if they can get here, but it is all contingent on that."