Most students know, from seeing Little 500 riders biking around Bloomington that biking in Little 500 is a big time commitment. But what a lot of people don’t know is there is more to the event than just hours of training, qualifications and the men’s and women’s race April 15 and 16.
Despite all of the excitement around Quals and the final Little 500 races, there are three events in between the two that round out the Spring Cycling Series.
Part of that series are the Individual Time Trials, which begin 3 p.m. Wednesday at Bill Armstrong Stadium.
ITTs is a chance for all the riders to compete against each other and try to earn the fastest time. In the team sport of Little 500, it’s a chance for individual riders to stand out.
There are 95 scheduled heats set to take place Wednesday afternoon, with four riders in each heat.
This year, the event has 100 more riders registered than in average previous years, so ITTs are likely to take at least eight hours, Little 500 Race Director Jordan Bailey said. Each rider is placed in a different corner of the track to start as the riders in the heat compete simultaneously.
The riders will start standing up, as they cannot be on the bike.
Once the gun sounds, the trial will begin and each rider has to complete four laps around the track.
When the riders complete his or her fourth lap, the clock will stop and each rider will be given their time.
After all the heats are completed, the riders will be sorted by their four lap time and the times are ranked.
With the fastest returning riders scheduled to ride between 8 and 10 p.m., competition within each heat will be fairly balanced.
The Cutters are on the pole for the men as they had an impressive Qualification. They said they are looking to build on that momentum.
“We are just trying to take it to people,” Cutter Captain Chris Pilipiszyn said. “We are just trying to do what we are told and executing in all of the events that we’re doing. It’s really down to getting our mind right.”
Nick Thiery of Cutters won last year’s ITTs with a time of 2:19.94.
Kyle Knight of Beta Theta Pi, Rob Lee of Phi Delta Theta and Luke Tormoehlen of Delta Tau Delta all finished in last year’s top five, and will challenge to be there again.
Tormoehlen rode two laps Saturday for Delta Tau Delta’s qualifer and helped his team finish in second place.
The Black Key Bulls also have many riders that could potentially win ITTs, with their captain Nick Hartman finishing 14th last year.
“We are looking just to stay fast,” Black Key Bulls Captain Nick Hartman said. “We are looking forward to just competing in all of the events.”
On the women’s side, the top position is up for grabs because last year’s winner, Kappa Alpha Theta’s Liz Lieberman, has graduated.
Favorites for the fastest time in the women’s field are Tabitha Sherwood of Phoenix and Megan Huibregtse of SKI. Both Sherwood and Huibregtse are in heat 73, which is set to begin at 9:20 p.m.
The two other riders likely to be in competition for the fastest four-lap time in heat 73 are Evelyn Malcomb of Kappa Alpha Theta and Kristen Bignal of Delta Gamma.