For many it’s the greatest week of the year! For those few (thousand) students who like a drink or two its time to party all week…and why? Because of a bike race? Amazing!
For those who choose to race then it’s a week filled with anticipation and nerves that will culminate in the Womens (Friday 4pm) and Mens (Saturday 2pm) Little 500 races. In the past few weeks seven Tortugans have been riding in circles as they participate in preliminary events leading up to the main race. On the Mens side the teams of both Jon Palak (Wright Cycling) and Ren-Jay Shei (Black Key Bulls) safely qualified for their race and both riders performed well in the ITT and Miss and Out events. Last Saturday was ‘team pursuit’ where Jon was the driving force in his teams strong showing whereas Ren-jay was a vital cog in the well-oiled BKB machine that scorched around the track to a 5th place finish!
On the women’s side it has been a case of domination, utter domination and complete domination for ‘Team Teter’ over the past 3 weeks! Sarah Rieke, Erin Hetzel, Sydney Hatten and Jackie Moeller laid down a spectacular early marker by securing the pole position for the women’s race by an unprecedented 6 seconds! This was just a sign of things to come as through ITTs and ‘Miss and Out’, Teter continued to dominate. This was highlighted by placing four girls in the six rider final that resulted in Sarah and Erin taking the top two positions. The ‘piece de resistance’ (so far) certainly came on Saturday as Teter stormed to victory in team pursuit, in the process setting a time that compared well with the fastest ever. The sight of the riders in tight formation in their newly designed multi-colored kits was reminiscent of the successful 1990s ‘Mapei’ professional squad (but without the implications of drug use)!
So with Teter as the white-hot favorites for the Women’s Little500 and with BKB amongst the favorites in the Men’s, the stage is set for further success this coming weekend! Favorites have been beaten before but Team Teter are so composed and talented it’s difficult to see that happening this time around! Good luck to all the student Tortugans!