• Annette Edmondson in action at the Santos Festival of Cycling's opening night. (Santos Festival of Cycling)Source: Santos Festival of Cycling
The Santos Festival of Cycling started with the bang of a starter's pistol shot on Tuesday evening as the track cyclists got a chance to show their wares in front of a sizeable crowd in the Gepps Cross Super-Drome.
SBS Cycling Central

20 Jan - 8:14 AM 

The Olympic-bound athletes mixing with WorldTour stars and up and coming riders was the main attraction of the evening, with a wide array of events staged to entertain the strong crowd in attendance.

The men's endurance races were dominated by Australian Cycling team duo Sam Welsford and Kell O'Brien who won the Madison event as a team, with birthday boy Welsford also winning the scratch race and O'Brien the elimination.

The women's endurance races saw a more mixed group of riders winning, with the women's team pursuit squad the main victors on the night. Ashlee Ankudinoff took out the elimination race in style before Annette Edmondson won the scratch race, beating out Georgia Baker in the final sprint.

The men's sprint events saw a fascinating duel between former world champion Matthew Glaetzer and young sprinter Leigh Hoffmann, with Hoffmann taking out the keirin, and Glaetzer securing the tussle in the match sprints.

Chloe Moran showed her decision to move across from the endurance side of things to the sprints was well justified, taking out the women's keirin event.Β 

The race of the evening was arguably the para-cycling scratch race, with Darren Hicks overhauling Daniel van der Laan late to claim the win in dramatic fashion.Β 

The racing action at the Santos Festival of Cycling will continue with the National Road Series racing, in place of the normal Tour Down Under, which will see Australian WorldTour stars pitted against the best of the domestically-based riders.