Predictions for the 2015 men’s Little 500

The past three years, I’ve been really confident in picking a race favorite. This year, more so than any of the past four years, seems to be a complete toss up.

It seems cliche to say it because it feels like it’s said every year, but there’s really a range of about 6-8 teams that could win the race, and I wouldn’t be surprised in the least. There’s so many variables this year, and so, so many strong teams, it makes choosing a winner exponentially difficult.

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Predictions for the 2015 women’s Little 500

Just like last year, I’ll give my picks for the top 5 finishers. I’m also adding in my predictions for All-Star riders and rookies of the year, as well as the Dixie Highway winner.

My pick last year, the first year I picked the women’s race, finished second (Teter). I didn’t think a fairly young Kappa Alpha Theta team had enough to get past the veteran Teter team. This year, I’m taking a now experienced, and arguably even deeper Theta team, to repeat.

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Power ranking the top women’s riders

As explained in the men’s post, this combines a rider’s ITT finish and their MNO finish (like a golf score, the lower the score the better, as 1 point is assigned to the ITT winner, 1 point to MNO winner, 2 to 2nd, 3 to 3rd, etc.) to create a list of the very best individual riders.

Like we said on the men’s post, this is far from an exact science, but it’s fun to look at.

Without further ado, here’s the list:

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Power ranking of the top men’s riders

Each spring, there are two different individual events, ITTs and MNO. ITTs is about raw speed around the track, while MNO combines a riders speed with their ability to ride in traffic, battle for track position and make timely runs.

Both are obviously important, so we decided to combine the two events together to create a master power ranking of the top men’s riders.

To reach this ranking, we took the number of points of a rider’s ITT finish (i.e. if you finished 9th in ITTs, you get 9 points. Finish 21st, you get 21 points) and combined it with a similar point measure in MNO (final heat received points 1-6 based on final finish, semifinalists received points 7-11 based on their finish, with both sides of the bracket receiving equal points for that finish in the semis). Obviously then, it becomes like a golf score. Lowest score wins.

It’s not perfect, but we believe it shows who some of the very best riders in the field are. Riders had to finish strong in both of the individual events to land on this ranking.

Here’s the list:

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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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