Top returning women’s ITT riders

With ITTs coming up Wednesday, here’s a look at the top returning riders in the women’s field.

Lots of top riders graduated, as only five of the top 10 riders return from last season. Of the top 50 riders last year, 26 return in 2015.

Melanzana has three of the top 11 returning riders, including two of the top nine.

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Top returning men’s ITT riders

With ITTs coming up Wednesday, we take a look at who some of the fastest returning riders from last year,

An amazing six of the top seven in ITTs from last year are back this year on the men’s side. It should make for quite the competition this year.

Defending champion Black Key Bulls returns three riders who were in the top 12 this year, giving them three of the top eight returning riders this year.

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POLL: Who will win the women’s Pole Saturday?

Qualifications are less than 24 hours away. Who’s your pick to win the women’s Pole?

POLL: Who will win the men’s Pole Saturday?

Qualifications are less than 24 hours away. Who’s your pick to win the pole Saturday?

Returning experience in the men’s field

When looking back on last year’s Little 500 men’s race, the majority of the field was surprisingly young, outside of BKB’s veteran-led lineup. This year, all those young riders are back with experience.

It makes for a more of a veteran feel to this year’s race, with four teams returning four riders with race experience, and five additional teams returning three riders with race experience. Should all of those teams qualify (and our guess is they will), that means 27 percent of the starting grid on race day will be made up of teams with at least three riders with returning race experience.

Here’s a look at the men’s teams with the most returning riders and the most race experience.

Forest
With all four riders back from last year’s race team, Forest brings an impressive nine years of combined race experience into this year’s Little 500 season. Three of its riders all have at least two years of race experience entering the upcoming race. Seniors Robert Henderson and Austin Portolese both have three years of race experience, joining six other riders in this year’s field who can say the same thing. Kyle Swain has two years of Little 500 race experience, and Richard Dixon has one for this team made up entirely of seniors.

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Returning experience on women’s teams

With Quals coming up this Saturday, we decided to take a look at which teams return the most Little 500 experience, and which teams return a majority of their riders from last year.

While race experience isn’t everything, it certainly helps. And being familiar with your teammates certainly helps on Qualifications day, when the most important thing is your ability to exchange cleanly. Teams who have worked on exchanges together for years tend to have an advantage there.

So, without further ado, here’s a look at the most experienced Little 500 teams for 2015.

Melanzana
This independent team has five riders on its roster who have race experience, making it by far the most experienced team in the field. The five, consisting of Julie Daugherty, Fallon Lilly, Rose Mullaney, Elizabeth Murzyn and Katie Reynolds boast a combined eight years of Little 500 race experience coming into this season. Mullaney is one of the most experienced riders in the field, with three years of race experience. She’s one of just three racers in the women’s field with three years experience. Reynolds, also a senior, has two, while the other three each have one year of race experience.

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