...according to me. As I wind my time down in Bloomington I'll throw a few 'best of' lists from the time that I have lived in town (from mid 2002). First up are the Female Little 500 riders. There is no precise metric for this list but a mix of success, teamwork, influence etc (and probably a little biased toward the present). Comment at your leisure.
Best Women's Little 500 Riders from 2003-2010
Notables omissions- Pam Loebig (Cycledelics), Meredith Horner (Kappa Kappa Gamma), Kelsey Cooper (Kappa Kappa Gamma), Corey Bitzer (Alpha Gamma Delta), Katie Thompson (Alpha Phi), Renee Luzadder (Delta Zeta)
10- Kristi Hewitt- Wing-it
Founded Team Wing-it as a freshman and developed with the team into the dominant rider of 2009. Without a race win as in 2009 as one of the favorites was just too isolated due to lack of depth compounded by injuries. A shock ITT winner in 2008 she backed it up by breaking the record in 2009.
Highlight- ITT record holder
Lowlight- Too much to do in 2009
9- Nicole Vincent- Kappa Alpha Theta
Won the 2-up sprint for the race in 2003 and was a solid contributor for Theta for the 3 years. Began her L5 career with independent team Landsharks in 2002 before transferring to the sorority juggernaut! Disappointed to lose to Teter in 2005 when her and Liz Milne made a formidable combination.
Highlight- Winning in 2003
Lowlight- Allowing Teter to sneak away in 2005
8- Jessica Lindemann- Teter
Quiet and unassuming but a real talent on the bike, she took on the leadership of Teter in 2005 after the disappointment of the 2nd place finish in 2004. She made the decisive break and anchored the team to their first victory. Interestingly was a Landshark teammate of Nicole Vincent in 2002.
Highlight- Crossing the line in 2005
Lowlight- The half wheel defeat in 2004
One lap from victory (cyclingnews.com)
7- Lindsey Manck- Kappa Delta
Helped build KD into the race winning force they became in 2007. Broke away in the final 10 laps to put only the 3rd sorority name on the trophy. Formed a great partnership with Lauren Ziemba to finish 2nd in 2006, only thwarted from the double by Jess Sapp.
Highlight- Crossing the line solo in 2007.
6- Caroline Brown- Pi Beta Phi
Brought Pi Phi to relevance and shocked the world with a ride for the ages to win the race in 2009. Riding in excess of 75laps, masterly hiding in the wheels until winning a 5-up sprint, her ride took plenty of unneeded flak when the truth of it was that she rode the race she had to. Defended the jersey in fine style in 2010 until crashing out. Gunning for another ring in 2011.
Highlight- Shocking the L5 world in 2009
Lowlight- Crashing out with a separated shoulder in 2010
One of my favorite pictures, all the emotions on show (IDS)
5- Liz Milne- Kappa Alpha Theta
Broke the Women's ITT record in 2005 with a surprising ride and was the strongest rider in the race that year but couldn’t take the win. However was part of the winning Theta team in 2003 and her diesel engine was a perfect complement to sprinter Vincent.
Highlight- Breaking the ITT record in 2005
Lowlight- The disappointment of the 2005 race
4- Sarah Rieke- Teter
Race leader of the Teter team from 2006-2008 after winning as freshman in 2005. Grew in strength throughout her L5 career leading an utterly dominant Teter version 2008 that had amazing strength in depth and great chemistry. Inexplicably they contrived to not win the race. HoF member
Highlight- Being at the head of the 2008 Teter team
Lowlight- 2008 Little 500, opportunities lost.
Rieke in 2007 (IDS)
3- Caitlin Van Kooten- Teter
Race winner in 2010 and dominated the series events in 2010 like no other ever had. The latest leader of the Teter dynasty and will be disappointed if she doesn't win in 2011.
Highlight- Crossing the line in 2010 after breaking away solo in the final 20 laps
Lowlight- Out of the Top 5 in 2009
CvK on track for victory (IDS)
2- Bri Kovac- Teter
Founder of the recent Teter dynasty and one of the most influential Women riders. Got stronger through her L5 career culminating with her being far-and-away the strongest rider in 2004. Maybe did a little too much on race day to come up half a wheel short in the controversial ‘hook’ finish! I remember bumping onto Bri on a ride in the spring of 2003 and being shocked as she attacked and beat me up the hill at the south end of Bottom Road. HoF member and even though she never won the race, her influence stretched beyond the track and inspired Women riders to push themselves to greater heights.
Highlight- Seeing all her hard work pay off as Teter won in 2005
Lowlight- Being unable to get ahead of Jess Sapp down the back stretch of the final lap in 2004.
Dirty ITT in 2004 but still broke the record (cyclingnews.com)
1- Jessica Sapp- Kappa Kappa Gamma
If she was sprinting, she was winning. Period. Twice on the bike to win the race in 2004 and 2006, the latter over a spirited Lauren Ziemba (KD) and the former in the controversial sprint against Bri Kovac (Teter). The 2006 win was remarkable in that she motivated an unfancied, inexperienced team to step up and keep her in contention. Arguably Kappa had their strongest team in 2005 but misfortunes in the race cost her the chance at another win amidst the raw emotion of the 'Ashley Crouse' race. Her record of 1st, 1st, 3rd and 4th can sit with anyone in the history of the race. HoF member.
Highlight- An against the odds win in 2006
Lowlight- Missing the triple by finishing 3rd in 2005.
4 days ago