Copyright Casey Gibson

In a true display of Aussie grit and determination, Amy Cure and Alex Manly staged an epic fight in the women’s Madison to win bronze after the team crashed heavily twice during the 120-lap race.

It was a memorable first ever women’s Madison event, with the 16 nations treating the fans to an energised display of racing and cementing the event’s rainbow jersey status.

Cure and Manly entered the Championships as one of the favourites after teaming to win gold at the recent World Cup in Los Angeles in February. The pair also enjoyed success in the event during the Australian season with Cure taking the 2017 Oceania crown (with Annette Edmondson), while Manly won the national title (with Dani McKinnirey).

Saturday’s inaugural final featured a litany of attacks, and with it some crashes, as the field tussled for positioning the changeovers.  Three teams – Belgium, Great Britain and Australia – emerged as leading the contenders across the first half.

However, Australia’s two crashes put them out of contention for the top step of the podium, with Belgium pulling away from Great Britain in the final stages of the race to win a memorable rainbow jersey.

“It was a really tough race, we were unlucky to have two crashes, but we fought pretty hard to bring it back, and never gave up,” said Cure, who revealed she thought their medal chances were gone after the second incident.

“After the second crash, I did think for a minute that we would be out of the medals.

“But we just kept at it, and we were still in it with a couple of sprints remaining, and I was happy we were able to hold on for that medal.

“Couldn’t be happier to finish on the podium.”

Debutant Manly has shone while on debut in Hong Kong, with the twenty-one-year-old adding the bronze to the team pursuit silver won on Thursday.

“I think I went into shock after the race,” said Manly, who required medical attention after her two crashes, and a new Santini skin suit for the medal ceremony with her race suit sporting a number of tears after hitting the track.

“At first I was disappointed with the bronze, but now it has sunk in, I am really happy and proud of our effort.

“Amy was so strong out there and we were able to hold for the bronze medal.

“To be able to be on the podium at the first ever women’s Madison is really special, so to make it with Amy, it is really nice.”