Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish are the current World Madison Champions. No surprise there, these days we expect nothing less. The question is how do you win the Madison? You win it by gaining laps on the other teams, so how do you gain a lap on a large track such as London?
The element of surprise is essential. Everyone is watching every move you make but sooner or later an opportunity arises. Handovers need to be made on the bends, with a lot of other riders around forcing you up the banking giving the height needed to launch an attack. A small increase in speed, a quicker hand-sling and Mark Cavendish explodes out of the bunch taking 25 metres before anyone realises what's happening. Even if someone anticipates the move no one in the world can hold Mark Cavendish's wheel, he is gone. Behind all hell breaks loose, other teams quickly form alliances and start working together, but Mark already has another 15 metres and is fully up to speed by the time of the handover to Bradley Wiggins
Even with 3 other teams working flat-out, Brad Wiggins takes 20 metres in the first lap alone then settles into a drag race - 3 against one. It stays like that for the next couple of hand-overs, the lead hovering just under half a lap until Cavendish gets his breath back, restores the explosive energy and ignites the after-burners. The lead goes out to over half a lap and the crowd explode. Meanwhile, Bradley waits for the moment he knows will come when the chasers start to doubt, to question, to look at each other. Eventually, it arrives, Wiggins puts his foot to the floor and keeps it there until the chasers inevitably crack. There isn't a rider in the world that can hold Wiggins when he's in the mood
These are the dog days of recovery, the slog when nothing seems to change, no light at the end of the tunnel. Can only hope what I do now will stand me in good stead sometime in the summer. Heading for the first outpatient appointment with the surgical team to review the scans and X-rays and find out if I will walk again.