A long list of contenders for this most coveted of titles! Lots of guys have either gone on from L5 to good road/track/cycloX/MTB careers or just been inspired by living in Bloomington and Little 500 community. This list includes road/ track achievements both during and after their time in Bloomington (even if during their time here they weren’t that special).
Erik Hamilton (11th), Issac Neff, Kevin Vanes, Keith Leonard, Rob Rhamy, Chris Vargo
10. Craig Leukens
Kept racing after a HoF Little 500 career and was National Collegiate Road Champ when at Yale. Had most success riding for the TargetTraining team out of the Northeast. Could have been an even bigger talent on the road if not held a little back by the Cat 2 rule that meant he couldn’t upgrade early.
9. Josh Weir
Controversial when riding Little 500 for TMT, but a top quality track racer who had ambitious of representing the US at the Olympics. Hasn’t been in the results for the past few years but those who ever raced with him always described him as a ‘beast’.
8. Jean-Luc Serriere
Mainly raced as a mountain biker and can win DINO races seemingly at will. An incredible talent and I probably missed his strongest days. Super classy on the bike, looked like the real deal and had the engine to ride with anyone.
7. Michael Kehrberg
Cat 1 as an 18yo but quit racing by 25! One of the strongest Midwest guys who went national when riding for the Subway Pro team. Got to ride San Francisco GP and finish Philly. Didn’t feel like suffering for a living with no financial reward so quit whilst he was ahead. As an IU freshman rode again from the group on my first 446 wednesday worlds with teammate Keith Leonard, prompting me to wonder ‘who the hell is that kid’?
6. Ryan Knapp
Solid roadman for Team Panther who can always to relied upon to snare a top 8 position to keep the money men happy! Excelled as a crosser who now has national acclaim riding for Bikereg.com and following a stint suffering in the Belgium mud. Has the right attitude with realistic goals but the Bloomington Crit is the BIG ambition for the 2011 road season.
5. Bennett VDG
Bloomington local who had a stellar Collegiate career at Cumberland, IU and Marian where he was track omnium champ as a senior. Rode a year for the Kenda Pro team and was a top lead out man. Decided to give it up for similar reasons to Kehrberg, knowing that it would be a hard job to succeed in.
4. Eric Young
Bloomington BMOC as the star of the Cutter Little 500 team. Smashed in on the rod and track in the latter half of 2010 and secured a pro contract with the Bissell team. A fearless sprinter who worked out how to stay upright to take big wins at Elk Grove and big results at Gateway Cup and Superweek. A pro contract is the next step and we’re all intrigued to see how far he can go! Most parochial Little 500 riders have no idea what it takes it finish third in a 60mile Superweek Crit and will find out to their cost in April.
3. Mike Sherer
After a solid Little 500 career kept it rolling to slowly improve in 2 seasons of road racing before having a great 2010 for Verizon Wireless. A podium at the NRC Tour de Grove, a top 5 overall at ToAD and a 4th in an 80mile superweek circuit all secured a ride for the Kelly Benefits Strategies PRO team in 2011. With a little more ordered training Sherer should take another step up but will have less opportunity to sprint for himself than will Eric Young.
2. Guy East
Recent Bloomington transplant who has been a monster track racer all through the 2000s highlighted with a win in the U23 Euro 6day circuit in 2009. On the road has hung with Big Tex on Trek-Livestrong and also for Kelly Benefits where he mostly rode as a team player without ever extending himself. Made a good life of racing international stage races and taking in the local culture. Shame he’s never truly thrown it down at WW! Taking a sabbatical in 2011 but will remain the prettiest guy on a bike in the area. Check out this video of Guy from IndyTV
1. Rashaan Bahati
A national celebrity as a previous US crit champ and winner of numerous big crits. Lived in Bloomington briefly as part of the Major Taylor group whilst an undergrad at IU. Rashaan preceded Eric Young by 8 years as Collegiate track points race winner and finished third in the Collegiate crit champs (first in the bunch kick) in the year when IU should have won the national title (with Kehrberg and Wangerin). No one looks classier on the bike and importantly was one of People magazines 50 most eligible bachelors in 2004. Founded his own racing team last year that unfortunately went to the wall after half a year but remains the man to beat in crits as is never afraid to put his bike where it probably ought not be! A dream would be to see Bahati pull onto Kirkwood with Young and Sherer in the wheel on the final lap of the Bloomington crit…..
1 day ago