The women continue to set the standard and lead the charge for New Zealand’s medal tally, with Michaela Drummond and Jessie Hodges taking bronze behind Australia and Poland.
120 laps or 30km comprised the women’s Madison with Georgia Baker and Alexandra Manly of Australia heading into the race as the riders to watch. Subway New Zealand Track Team’s Michaela Drummond and Jessie Hodges teamed up but it was the Aussies who quickly established themselves as the team to beat; taking the three of the first four sprints to put them in a commanding position early.
Hodges and Drummond appeared a little nervous initially, missing a hand sling and not scoring in the first sprint against the ten other teams. They began to find themselves as the race progressed, however, taking points in the next two sprints and then winning the fifth sprint to enthusiastic applause from the home crowd. They managed to get the better of China in the fifth sprint with Hodges taking them over the line.
The race proceeded in a pretty tame manner in terms of attacks; with no one launching a big move in pursuit of a lap on the field. New Zealand’s mid-section of the race was a rather more quiet affair, while by contrast Poland began to take a prominent position in the standings as they – together with Australia – began to notch up a consistent tally of points; with the Ukraine and China also beginning to threaten as well.
Subway New Zealand’s medal prospects were threatened heavily with a crash at just over 40 laps to go with Michaela Drummond going down alongside riders from Ireland and the USA. Drummond gradually managed to return to her feet and continue with her and Hodges still in third place but by a single point. Drummond was back and setting tempo with 33 laps to go with the race on a knife edge for the lower podium positions; while Australia and Poland began to stretch their advantage ahead of the rest.
A hand sling miss on the 10th of 12 sprints saw New Zealand drop to fourth place as they missed out on points and China took their spot. Now they were forced to do the chase work to try and get back into medal contention and they showed themselves up for the task. On the run in to the penultimate sprint Ukraine attacked and gained maximum points at the sprint, but Subway New Zealand managed to take second place on the line but still stay in fourth place behind Ukraine now; with one double-points sprint to go.
This time, with ten laps to go, Jessie Hodges decided not to wait until the final sprint and go on the attack instead; but Drummond was not willing to go all in yet and they settled back in for the final sprint as Switzerland and China led the field with 5 laps to go. With four laps to go Switerland continued to set the pace with Hodges moving up to third wheel and slinging Drummond in for one final push.
At the bell Australia had the lead with Poland, Subway New Zealand and Italy all chasing hard. Drummond managed to dig deep and take third place across the line and take four final points; enough for third place.