Crash on lap 199 clears way for Black Key Bulls to win Little 500

It had all the makings for a sprint finish.

After teams exchanged the lead all afternoon and a group of 10 teams were in contention for the title midway through the Little 500, the field whittled down to seven with two laps to go.


via @whatiwore

Black Key Bulls, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Phi Delta Theta, Delta Tau Delta, Beta Theta Pi, Cutters and Sigma Chi had escaped the field and had formed a small peloton. They were preparing for a sprint finish. It was lap 199. 

As they rounded turn three, though, Beta Theta Pi’s Chris Craig slid out. The crash took out six of the seven competing teams. Only Black Key Bulls escaped unharmed.

And after one lap under a yellow flag, Black Key Bulls was able to race the final lap unthreatened, crossing the checkered flag alone for its first-ever title in nine races.

Below are the full results from the 64th men’s Little 500:

1. Black Key Bulls

2. Phi Delta Theta

3. Delta Tau Delta

4. Sigma Phi Epsilon

5. Phi Gamma Delta

6. Beta Theta Pi

7. Sigma Alpha Epsilon

8. Cutters

9. Sigma Chi

10. Wright Cycling Continue reading

Kappa Alpha Theta wins 27th women’s Little 500 in sprint finish

For the past three years, Kappa Alpha Theta was right there on the final lap of the Little 500. So close to winning its fifth-ever Little 500 title.

In 2012 and 2013, Theta was defeated in sprint finishes, finishing second in each race. On Friday, the curse was broken.

Kappa Alpha Theta, overcoming a crash in the middle of the race, won a sprint finish between Teter, Alpha Chi Omega, Phi Mu and Cru, taking the 27th women’s Little 500 title in a 0.132-second victory.

Below are the full, unofficial results from the 2014 women’s Little 500:

1. Kappa Alpha Theta

2. Teter

3. Alpha Chi Omega

4. Phi Mu

5. Cru

6. CSF Cycling

7. Ski

8. Melanzana

9. Chi Omega (started 20th, Dixie Highway Award winner)

10. Kappa Delta Continue reading

33to1 staff picks race winners

After months of training, race day is finally here. Today, the women take the track at 4 p.m. Tomorrow, the men will have their turn at Bill Armstrong Stadium with the green flag scheduled to drop at 2 p.m.

After months of analysis and reporting, we can finally unveil who we think is going to take the checkered flag.

Here’s our staff picks, as well as your chance to cast your own vote for who you think will win.

Continue reading

Riders make guest radio appearances

As several of you have figured out, I (Robby), host a sports talk radio show on WIUX. On Tuesday, we had four riders on to help us preview the race. Brenna McGinn (Kappa Alpha Theta), Rob Lee (Phi Delta Theta), Emma Caughlin (Teter) and Chris Craig (Beta Theta Pi) all joined us.

Here are the links to those separate interviews:






First-year team Ski rides its way to the top

Natalie Laser can’t contain the emotion. She’s visibly excited, wearing a wide smile across her face and her eyes as bright as the afternoon sun. Her first real jersey just came in.

It’s April 2, 23 days away from race day – the very first race day in Ski Club Cycling history. And it’s the day those very first jerseys have just come in. Of course, that meant the team had to change immediately, despite it being the middle of practice.

“Look at our new jerseys!” she said. “Aren’t they awesome?!”

For Ski, a first-year team with four rookie riders that did not come together until January, everything about the track, the bikes, the race is reason for excitement.

Just earlier in the day, back before the team had its actual jerseys, the team had been pondering a question about the bike. All four riders – Laser, Alex Benigni, Megan Huibregtse and Ashley King – are about the same height. Does this mean they should use just one bike on race day? Could they do that? Is that a good idea?

They’re not sure right now. But they giggle at the realization. It’s another exciting thought. It’s another new thought.

But the most exciting moment came on March 29, just four days before. It was Quals. It was a moment of triumph. It was a blur. It was exciting.

“I replay it in my head it was so exciting,” Laser said.

Continue reading

IU Nursing rider Lauren Gill “now semiconscious,” off ventilator

Little 500 Race Director Jordan Bailey relayed information about injured IU Nursing rider Lauren Gill directly from the Gill family to 33to1 Monday evening.

Gill, who remains at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, no longer requires the assistance of a ventilator and is “semiconscious,” according to a statement issued by the family. She remains in critical condition, but is no longer hooked up to as many machines, which is the first positive step, the family said. The full extent of the injury to her brain is still unknown, but “there are some promising signs,” the family said.

The full statement from the family, via Bailey:

“Lauren is now semiconscious and has been taken off the ventilator, but she remains in critical condition. The extent of the injury to her brain still cannot be fully assessed, but there are some promising signs. We hope to learn a little more each day. Her recovery will likely take several weeks or months. We ask that everyone continue to pray for her.”

Gill was injured in a practice race on Thursday, landing on her head. She was airlifted to Methodist Hospital.

There is a “Lauren Gill Recovery Fund” to help support the Gill family. You can donate to that campaign here. As of publication, the fund has already raised more than $4,400 in less than a week.


Do greeks or independent teams have an advantage on race day?


Paul Smith will be wearing a Delta Tau Delta jersey this Saturday.

He finished third in ITTs the last two years and watched from the pit as the team won in 2012 and sprinted the final 20 laps to help push Delts to a second-place finish in 2013.

But he hasn’t always competed for the greek powerhouse. His freshman year, he rode for Wright Cycling. Although he lived in Teter, he’d gone on a few group rides with the Wright team and trained with them leading up to the race.

“I wasn’t a very good rider when I joined Wright,” Smith said. “I had a lot to learn.”

He later joined Delts, where he statistically has a better chance of winning based on IUSF’s historical records.

Greek teams have won 68 percent of men’s races and 54 percent of women’s races. More than three-quarters of top-three finishers in the men’s race have worn greek letters.

It’s a rivalry older than “Breaking Away.” It’s easy to break the race down to greeks versus everyone else. It’s easy to vilify those damn Cutters or those damn frat stars from the stands. It’s easy to cheer for someone like you — whether that team is greek or independent.

So who has an upper hand? Greeks, who have been historically dominant in the competition with strong support and large budgets, or GDIs, who can freely recruit and earn support as the scrappy underdog?

Continue reading

IU Nursing rider Lauren Gill hospitalized

IU Nursing rider Lauren Gill has been hospitalized at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis following an accident during Thursday’s practice race at Bill Armstrong Stadium.

According to Mark Land, the IU Associate Vice President of Public Affairs and Government Relations, Gill fell off her bike during the race and was struck by at least one other rider. She was taken to the hospital in Indianapolis via a medical helicopter, where she is currently being held, the hospital has confirmed.

I don’t have any details about her condition that can be shared at this point, but Lauren, her family, teammates and friends are all in our thoughts,” Land told 33to1. 

Land said that race officials, as well as officials from the IU Student Foundation, are working to get more details, and they will be passed along as soon as they are made available.

Update (6:09 p.m. Friday): Little 500 race director Jordan Bailey spoke with the Gill family on Friday, and Bailey passed along this message to 33to1: “Her family has expressed that they would rather not talk publicly about Lauren’s condition. They relayed the message that they want everyone to keep Lauren in their thoughts and prayers.” Multiple media outlets have reported Gill is in critical condition following Thursday’s crash.

Stay tuned to 33to1 for more updates on this developing situation.

Column: 35 years later, can ‘Breaking Away’ still compete?


At what point does a modern classic become a relic of the past?

“Breaking Away,” the classic sports film based on IU’s famous Little 500 bike races, hit cinemas nationwide 35 years ago this summer. The July 1979 sports classic was a sleeper at the box office, but it was newspaper articles and a strong word-of-mouth reputation, reportedly — then a trusted American institution before Twitter, Facebook, and 24-hour cable news took our attention and never quite gave it back — that brought filmgoers to the movies in spades.

Director Peter Yates’ earnest film, written by IU graduate Steve Tesich, about four working-class Bloomington locals and their struggles in a college town even won the 1979 Academy Award for Best Screenplay.

…But does it hold the same weight in 2014?

Has it been replaced by modern, sexier, sleeker sports films with high-definition cameras? Does this old-timey, earnest film about a humble, self-contained Indiana community keep its wholesome nature intact — or does it banish “Breaking Away” to a select quadrant of the film community reserved only for the kitschy and left-behind as the film canon chugs along into 2014 and beyond?

Continue reading

Team Pursuit gives better idea of race winner, final probability


Unlike Quals, Team Pursuit results can yield a decent model for predicting race day success. Team Pursuit and Miss ‘N Out are better simulators for how teams perform on the day of the race than the other events before race day.

IUSF records are inconsistent at best when it comes to Miss ‘N Out results, giving us an uphill battle when creating a historic base on which to extract winning probability. Instead, we can look at the past 20 years of Team Pursuit results to predict the chances teams have of winning based exclusively on their Team Pursuit placement.

Continue reading