Recapping the men’s spring series

For the second consecutive year, Black Key Bulls captured the spring series, in large part thanks to a first place finish in Team Pursuit.

BKB had three riders in the top 10 at ITTs (Spencer Brauchla 6, Tyler Hart 7, Lucas Kalbfell 10). ITTs as a whole was much faster this year than last, with the top six riders all finishing with a faster time than last year’s top time of 2:22.98. To put into perspective how much faster this year’s times were than 2014’s, the 25th fastest rider in 2015 would have slotted in at No. 13 in 2014.

Nick Thiery of the Cutters won ITTs, posting a 2:19.94. It was the 10th fastest time in ITT history, and the fastest time since RJ Stuart’s (Delta Tau Delta) 2012 run of 2:18.65. The fastest ITT time still belongs to Alpha Tau Omega’s Hans Arnesen with a 2:15.78 in 2005.

Other teams to get multiple riders in the top 10 in ITTs included Beta Theta Pi (Chris Craig 2, Kyle Knight 3) and Delta Tau Delta (Luke Tormoehlen 5, Anthony Vicino 9). Tormoehlen showed the biggest improvement from 2014 to 2015, improving 10.1 seconds to move from 49th last year to 5th this year.

Moving on to Miss-N-Out, Beta’s Chris Craig defended his 2014 crown, fighting off Phi Delta Theta’s Rob Lee, Thiery, Hart, teammate Joe Laughlin and Sig Ep’s Nick Torrance in the final. Outside of Craig, it was an entirely different final heat than 2014. Lee, Torrance and Thiery had all made the semifinals in 2014, but did not advance to the finals. It was the first time Hart and Laughlin had made both the semifinals and the finals.

Beta led all teams with three riders to reach the semifinals. Cutters, Delta Tau Delta and BKB all had two riders each make the semis.

With Beta’s strong performance in ITTs and Miss-N-Out, it appeared to be in the driver’s seat. But BKB’s strong performance in Team Pursuit allowed it to capture the spring series championship. There will be no white jersey in the race,however, as BKB will be wearing the yellow jersey as the defending race champions.

BKB dominated Team Pursuit, with its time of 8:56.42 registering as one of the best TP times ever. Only four other men’s teams have completed Team Pursuit in under 9:00. Beta Theta Pi was the last to do it, finishing in 8:49.70 in 2013. The men’s Team Pursuit winner has won the race the last three years.

Delta Tau Delta prevented an all BKB Team Pursuit final, with a qualifying time of 9:12.46, better than BKB second team time of 9:15.35, which finished third best. SAE and Phi Delta Theta also finished in the top five.

For the second consecutive year, the men’s spring series top 4 consists of BKB, Beta, Phi Delts and Delts. Beta and Phi Delts swapped positions from last year at second and third, the only change in the top four. Sig Ep rounded out the top five.

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8 thoughts on “Recapping the men’s spring series

  1. Very dynamic mens field this year, it should be a great race.

    RACE ODDS

    BETA 7/2 – Despite a somewhat disappointing showing in TP, Beta remains the favorite. Beta has both depth and a top sprinter in Craig. However, Beta’s race could easily be decided within the first 10 laps if they get boxed in during an early wreak. My guess is that someone lets them to the outside and they move up in the first 2 laps no problem.

    BKB 4/1 – No doubt they have depth, but the field is too strong for them to drop the field in a straight forward race like last year. They will need a timely wreak. I don’t think they have a top sprinter but if they save someone for a sprint (Brauchla or Hart) like they did with Miller last year they might have a chance in a sprint. Both of those guys can throw down a 33 second lap with only 20 laps in their legs.

    PDT 4/1 – Rob “Fucking” Lee had a strong showing in Spring Series and instantly makes them a top contender in a sprint. I thought the rest of PDT underperformed a little in Spring Series, but I wouldn’t sleep on them for a second. They will be a force on race day.

    Delts 5/1 – Delts had a strong spring. They performed better than I expected. However, I don’t how they plan on winning. Momper is “seasoned” but he won’t be able to lead Delts to a victory. They are going to have to make a very savvy move with less than 20 to go to win. If the are able to sit in all race with out wreaking they will have a shot at the end.

    The CUTTERS 9/1 – Their only shot is to get Theiry to the sprint, if there even is one. I’d still take Lee or Craig over him though as they have stronger teams and are better sprinters.

    SAE 9/1- The Krahulik bros can certainly pack a punch and will most likely fly under the radar for most of the race. Very legit dark horse.

    The field: Wright, Sig Ep Forest, FIJI

    • Wreck*****
      I agree with your train of thought on most of these. Sig Ep deserves to be mentioned more and SNU over Fiji

  2. Interesting odds.
    Easiest way data/metrics/statistically to determine/predict winner over last 20 years (semi-reliable data set) is TP winner + Spring Series Place + highest % T20 ITT

    Once you try it you’ll never go back…..

    • 46X18 – I am curious and lazy. Have you crunched the numbers? Care to post?

      Hoof Hearted – Thanks for a well thought out odds summary.

  3. Solid wright up and odds. I disagree with some of your reasoning as to how some of the teams will win, but you called the right contenders. Keep lickin dem butts

  4. So, what changes or impact, if any, do we think a wet cold race will have on the outcome? “Stronger” riders favored a bit over sprinters? Bike handling even ore of a premium. Staying in front of the pack even more important ?

    • My guess would be that teams in the back (i.e. Beta) would want to get to the front even faster, with the likelihood of an early crash increasing that much more. It should definitely make exchanges interesting, too. I believe the last time it was really rainy and wet was 2011, the last victory for Eric Young and the Cutters. That was the race that Cutters and Phi Delt were neck and neck until Phi Delt exchanged on the very last lap. Those top two teams kind of separated themselves, and, if I remember correctly, some crashes also took out some of the other top tier teams.

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