Checkerboard Stripe
Madison Racing League
Exciting "American" style Racing is here again!
Tuesday 1st of January 2002

Named for the famed Madison Square Garden in New York City where it was made famous in the glory days of US professional racing (and known as the "American" in Europe, where it forms the basis for the existing form of six-day racing - competitions that are run as a compendium of events for teams of two riders), this most storied of track events is a race for teams of two riders that can last anywhere from less than a hundred laps to six days! Run as a points race, teams are made up of a rider in the competition and a relief rider. Both riders stay on the track surface at all times, but the relief riders circulate slowly above the stayer’s line that divides the track or hang on the balustrade until they are called upon to replace their tiring partner, the exchange taking place in the form of a "hand-sling" that accelerates the slower rider into the fray.

Each team has only one rider in the race at any given time. After covering one or two laps at top speed, that rider drops out of the race so that another member of the team can come in and ride for a while. During the changeovers, the rider coming off the track literally throws the second rider into the race- either with a handsling, or by grabbing onto a special handle sewn into the rear pocket of their teammate's racing shorts. The Madison is considered to be the ultimate event in bicycle track racing, not only because of the length of the race, but also because of its incredible combined demands of speed, endurance, teamwork and tactics.

Courtesy of . Ed Rudolph Northbrook Velodrome