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Indiana University Little 500 - IM
Bloomington, Indiana, USA, April 22, 2007
Cutters and Kappa Delta a cut above the rest
By Emily Baltes in Bloomington, Indiana
Cutters continue storied tradition
With only three laps of two hundred to go in the 57th running of the Indiana University's men's Little 500 it was still unclear who would be the next champion. But in the final turn of the 50 mile race, veteran Cutters rider Alex Bishop took the inside of the track to out-sprint Phi Kappa Psi rider Erik Styachich and Dodds House rider Christopher Chartier to grab the eighth overall title for the Cutters team.
"We got the eighth championship, and that's all that matters," Bishop told Cyclingnews after the race.
With 80 laps to go a small pack of five teams, including the Black Key Bulls and Team Major Taylor, pulled away from the rest of the pack. This group of five controlled the rest of the race, but no one team could prove dominate until the final sprint.
"[We] put in a big surge during the last set to try and put some teams away," Dodds House senior Christopher Chartier said. "It was okay, but didn't quite work."
The effort by Dodds House was matched by the Cutters and Team Major Taylor, who quickly closed the gap.
On lap 195 the Cutters made their final exchange, putting powerhouse rider Alex Bishop back on the bike. The top teams bunched together in the final laps as no rider wanted to pull. But Bishop moved to inside line, the fastest part of the track, keeping the other riders at his side. On the final turns no one could match Bishop's powerful sprint, and the victory was in the bank.
In the end, the Cutters' win came from running the perfect race - making clean bike and rider exchanges, staying out of the crashes and maintaining good positioning.
Kappa Delta rises to the top
In the women's Little 500 race, Kappa Delta was determined not to relieve last year's heartbreaking second place sprint finish. Executing a perfect race day strategy, Kappa Delta cruised in for an easy solo win in the 20th running of the Women's Little 500 race.
No team was able to give chase as Kappa Delta broke away from the pack on lap 60 of 100, in what all riders and fans assumed was a typical burn-out for a planned rider exchange. But to everyone's surprise, no exchange was made and Kappa Delta began to build an insurmountable lead.
"I really expected more people to follow, but nobody followed," senior Kappa Delta rider Lindsey Manck said. "We said 'Okay, we're going.' And we weren't going to look back!"
With perfect rider and bike exchanges, Kappa Delta was able to gain a half of a lap lead by lap 80 and easily take the victory.
Despite a well-planned race, Kappa Delta remained in shock after the race, "This is absolutely amazing, I can't even believe it," Lauren Magee, a rookie Kappa Delta rider, said.
Although Kappa Alpha Theta was able to regain position after an early crash during lap 18, it was unable to out-sprint this year's pole position team, Teeter, for second place.
"We were happy to catch back on, but after we caught Kappa Delta, they did what we wanted to do today," Kappa Alpha Theta rider Ali McCormick said.
The Cycledelics and Kappa Kappa Gamma teams, two teams that stayed out of trouble the entire race, managed to finish fourth and fifth, respectively.
Indiana Daily Student reporter Michael Sanserino contributed to this report.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Chelsea Sanders/bluelinestyle.com
Men 1 Cutters 2 Phi Kappa Psi 3 Dodds House 4 Black Key Bulls Women 1 Kappa Delta 2 Teeter 3 Kappa Alpha Theta 4 Cycledelics 5 Kappa Kappa Story
Men 2006 Alpha Tau Omega 2005 Dodds House Women 2006 Kappa Kappa Gamma 2005 Teter