We all know the Madison can be a confusing race at the best of times, but Saturday?s national title race took bewilderment to a new level.
Manxmen Peter Kennaugh and Mark Christian were eventually announced as new champions following lengthy deliberations by the judges and a pow-wow between the riders after Kennaugh?s younger brother Tim and partner George Atkins had seemingly won the title.
Should you still be scratching your head at the evening?s goings on, Cycling Weekly will attempt to explain.
WHO?S WITH WHO?
Scroll down the start list and 2008 champion Peter Kennaugh paired with Rob Hayles look odds-on favourites to lift the title.
Hayles, having been told he would no longer figure in Team GB?s Madison set-up, decided to sit it out and save his legs for the following events in the Revolution meeting.
This left Kennaugh partner-less. Thankfully, fellow Isle of Man prodigy Mark Christian stepped into the breach.
There was only one problem: Christian had planned to ride with Erick Rowsell. Cue another shuffle as Jonny McEvoy comes in to partner Rowsell.
With us so far?
It appears that everything is settled and all riders accounted for. But hang on a minute: what about Russell Hampton, who should have been teamed with McEvoy? Was he left on the sidelines, twiddling his thumbs?
His whereabouts remain unknown but, to our knowledge, he was not seen circling the top of the banking on Saturday with one arm forlornly extended in the hope that some passing rider would take pity and sling him in the race.
ONE RULE FOR THEM?
So how come GB riders can swap teams seemingly at will, yet others, having informed the organiser that their partners would be unable to ride, have their cheques returned and are told they cannot race?
A close reading of the regulations explains this one. Substitutions are permitted after the closing date, but only if the new partner is already entered into the championship ? hence the radical shuffling of the GB pack.
Conspiracy theorists will have to poke their noses back in the National Inquirer and look for new angles.
AND NOW THE RACE
This is where things get mighty complicated.
The opening sprint shows the points on the scoreboard as going to Geraint Thomas/Luke Rowe, followed by George Atkins/Tim Kennaugh.
The second sprint goes to Peter Kennaugh/Mark Christian from Thomas/Rowe.
At the third sprint, the three points showing for Atkins/Kennaugh are removed and re-allocated, presumably to their rightful owners, Kennaugh Senior and Christian.
As the field splits, keeping track of who is on what lap turns into a nightmare for the judges. Kennaugh and Christian gain a lap, but brother Tim Kennaugh and Atkins are also credited with a lap gained ? mistakenly, as it turned out.
So, leading up to sprint nine, when the young duo really do take a lap, they leap to the top of the scoreboard and finish the 50km as apparent champions, followed by Kennaugh/Christian and Thomas/Rowe.
Cue much head scratching and discussions between the judges as they try to make sense of the mayhem. Thankfully, the riders have a grip on what went on and sort out the order, reporting the mysteriously gained lap to the judges, leaving us with the following podium-
1 Peter Kennaugh (100% ME) Mark Christian (100% ME)
1 lap 36pts
2 Geraint Thomas (Barloworld) Luke Rowe (100% ME)
1 lap 31pts
3 Alex Dowsett (100% ME) Andy Fenn (100% ME)
1 lap 13pts
with Atkins/Kennaugh slipping to 9th position.
AND THE MORAL OF THE STORY IS?
Who?d be a Madison judge?
And the winners are…
Kennaugh and Christian crowned Madison champs