For 2022 the world of off-road racing has taken a decidedly serious and cash-infused turn with the arrival of the Life Time Grand Prix series.
Life Time owner and producer of more than 30 renowned athletic events across the nation, today announced the 60 athletes who have been selected to compete in the 2022 Life Time Grand Prix series, which includes events such as Garmin Unbound Gravel and the Stages Cycling Leadville Trail 100 MTB. The 30 women and 30 men will face off across six events for a $250,000, equally-split prize purse.
The $250,000 prize purse will pay out ten-deep based on overall series results, which are determined by a points-based ranking system. First place will earn $25,000, second place will earn $20,000, third place will receive $16,000, and so forth. Three events—Crusher in the Tushar, Chequamegon MTB Festival, Sea Otter Classic—offer individual event purses, which Life Time Grand Prix athletes are also eligible for.
Athletes will be ranked against other Life Time Grand Prix competitors by points received based on their finishing position at each event. The first athlete will earn 20 points, second,19; third, 18; and so forth. The overall results will use an athlete’s best five finishes out of the six events. The final event of the series, Big Sugar Gravel, will be mandatory for all riders and will serve as a tiebreaker in the event of a tie.
Life Time Grand Prix: Elite Women
● Whitney Allison, 33, Fort Collins, Colo., “Being an athlete is so central to my identity. A series with this range is such an interesting calculation of playing to your strengths and figuring out how to mitigate your weaknesses and I like that challenge.”
● Kaysee Armstrong, 31, Knoxville, Tenn., “Every race I do that Life Time puts on pushes me and makes me stronger. The Grand Prix is finally a step in the right direction for supporting a new category of bike racing outside of world cups and world tour racing. Then you add in equal pay out for women for a real winning series.”
● Lea Davison, 38, Jericho, Vt., “My work off the bike is LGBTQ+ advocacy, empowering women, and getting girls on bikes. I believe there is potential to enhance one or all of these efforts with the platform that the Life Time Grand Prix offers.”
● Evelyn Dong, 36, Park City, Utah, “I want to dive deeper into endurance racing and these are all the premier events. I’ve raced Crusher which I loved, and Chequamegon where I need some redemption. But more than that I’m excited for the wide scope these events encompass, from Leadville to Unbound.”
● Rebecca Fahringer, 32, Bend, Ore., “My professional cycling career is moving away from cyclocross-centric and into a focus on gravel and maybe mountain bike racing. The LTGP will give me a focus for my first season…”
● Maude Farrell, 30, Mill Valley, Calif., “I’m curious about my physical capacities and ability. I’ve always been intrigued by challenges or events where competitors look like shells of their former selves…I can’t help but wonder “could I go deeper? The Life Time Grand Prix is an offer to experiment in pursuit of answers or clues…it’s an opportunity to pose the questions amidst other women who may be asking something similar.”
● Helena Gilbert-Snyder, 22, El Cerrito, Calif., “…this is a rare opportunity for any cyclist to launch themselves forward in the sport, let alone a female cyclist, and I can’t stop grinning when thinking about being able to compete against top athletes all year as well as having a unique platform to further the advocacy I care about.”
● Sofia Gomez Villafane, 27, Heber City, Utah, “I want to take on a new challenge of doing some really hard races all over the USA. I excel at 20 minute races, so I am looking forward to challenging myself on the longer events.”
● Rose Grant, 39, Columbia Falls, Mont., “I am inspired by Life Time’s vision! Life Time is supporting professional bike racers, and by being a part of this series, I would be, in return, supporting Life Time and their vision.”
● Erin Huck, 40, Boulder, Colo., “The Life Time GP represents a challenge unlike any other that I have pursued; there is an opportunity to win money; and it’s a series that is more than just a typical professional race series combining different types of events with a variety of participants from super elite to first timers…a cross section of the cycling community that is a big reason why I love racing.”
● Isabel King, 30, Los Angeles, Calif., “I want to test myself with the best riders in the country and hopefully inspire others to do so as well.”
● Kristen Legan, 36, Longmont, Colo., “What an exciting series of races and a great community of people! …I want to see what I can do against myself and against some of the most inspiring women on the gravel and MTB circuits.”
● Rach McBride, 42, Vancouver, Canada, “I want to support Life Time gravel racing, the non-binary category and race to the top of the field!!”
● Angela Naeth, 39, South Easton, Mass., “After more than 12 years of professional triathlon, I was lucky enough to discover gravel racing during 2021…I am in the process of proving that a triathlete CAN race bikes off-road, and be successful at it…”
● Katerina Nash, 44, Emeryville, Calif., “I have a good experience and skill set that is required for this series.”
● Amanda Nauman, 32, Lake Forest, Calif., “It’s an off-road cycling series that highlights a style of events I’ve been tackling for over eight years. I created my own mini series of events that I’d tackle when I wasn’t racing cyclocross and now it seems like everyone else caught up to this style and we’ll have a great narrative and story to tell along the way.”
● Amber Neben, 46, Lake Forest, Calif., “Looks like an amazing series and would present a fun post-Olympic challenge.”
● Emily Joy Newsom, 38, Fort Worth, Texas, “The gravel scene has been an opportunity for me to stay near home and yet be challenged beyond anything I’d yet experienced. The added challenge of learning the discipline of mountain biking excites me and I look forward to giving it my all.”
● Flavia Oliveira-Parks, 40, Castro Valley, Calif., “…it is a huge opportunity for women in the sport of gravel. Equality at its finest. One of the main reasons I love gravel.”
● Hannah Otto, 26, Salt Lake City, Utah, “…I want to be a part of this next movement in cycling. I believe this series encapsulates so much of what I love about the sport.”
● Paige Peters, 32, Grand Rapids, Mich., “…I value the mission of these events. It creates a pathway for professional cyclists to have exposure and financial support on those endeavors. More importantly, this series will grow a fan base and following loyal to these events and riders. Through this fan base, my goals of inspiring others to ride and become healthier in the process can be achieved.”
● Kathy Pruitt, 38, Saratoga, Calif., “…to see how I stack up against the best in a truly unique off-road series.”
● Amity Rockwell, 28, San Francisco, Calif., “I feel like this is everything I have been building towards in my life over the last 7 or so years, since I first got it in my head I wanted to race bicycles. I wish to do everything in my power to keep growing, keep elevating the sport and its wonderful humans, and take a close personal role in shaping endurance off-road cycling into an equitable and profitable sport in America.”
● Melisa Rollins, 26, Salt Lake City, Utah, “…this is the change that needs to happen for women’s professional racing to continue to develop and grow in the US. It incentivizes competition at amazing alternative events. It glorifies perseverance, and is effortlessly inclusive.”
● Hannah Shell, 30, Boulder, Colo., “…gives me the opportunity to share my experience with gravel more broadly. I hope that through sharing it, I can motivate others to either start riding or reframe the idea that cycling events are only for the competitive elite…the community and inclusive nature of gravel is what makes it great, and I would love an opportunity to ensure gravel and MTB racing continues in that direction.”
● Alexis Skarda, 32, Grand Junction, Colo., “Not only is the Grand Prix the preeminent MTB/gravel series, but it brings people together…it’s really exciting for all the participants to race together and get to have the shared experience of the challenge and triumph of such amazing races and locations.”
● Haley Hunter Smith, 28, Uxbridge, Ontario, “…I believe it is both my future in cycling, and the future of cycling itself. This is where I stand to make the most positive contribution to the cycling community, and where the cycling community has the greatest potential to reach other people and grow.”
● Sarah Sturm, 32, Durango, Colo., “When the Life Time Grand Prix was announced I was too stoked, after competing in LeadBoat this year I realized how much I wanted to balance a season of MTB and gravel, and then bam, this perfect series popped up! It would be a huge accomplishment for me to just participate in it…”
● Moriah Wilson, 25, Mill Valley, Calif., “I did a lot of the Grand Prix events in 2021, and I have high hopes of coming back to them in 2022 and challenging myself even further.”
● Ruth Winder, 28, Boulder, Colo., “Being so brand new to gravel I’m just super excited to start. I’ve been part of other series…each of them have had their own sets of memories and battles…I’d love to take part in another cycling series!”
Life Time Grand Prix: Elite Men
● Eddie Anderson, 23, Richmond, Va., “…I want to be a part of the biggest gravel races in the world and to thus help grow the sport of cycling by encouraging more people to come to these races and events. More than anything, I want to be a good ambassador for our sport on the biggest stage that gravel has to offer.”
● Josh Berry, 31, Tucson, Ariz., “I have been waiting for a series to drive the direction of cycling in America and one that was a big enough challenge to reinvigorate the fight for the top spot…I believe this series – with its challenging mix of races – will be the pinnacle of our sport.”
● Jeremiah Bishop, 45, Harrisonburg, Va., “To take part in the action and to share the sport with fans.”
● John Borstlemann, 30, Lincoln, Neb., “…I love the idea of a series that will test everyone’s abilities over the length of the season on a wide variety of distances and course profiles, because I think it will make for compelling and exciting competition.”
● Rob Britton, 37, Victoria, British Columbia, “When I think or talk about taking part in these events I feel the smile come back to my face and that excitement I used to have for “pinning on a number” returns and that feels really, really good. I’m new to this side of the sport and I’m so stoked to be a part of it and the atmosphere around these events!
● Stephan Davoust, 26, Durango, Colo., “This is going to be the premier cycling series in the US and I feel like I have made a name for myself as one of the Top MTB athletes and I’d like to assert myself as one of the top endurance athletes in the US.”
● TJ Eisenhart, 27, Ivins, Utah., “I love these events and the culture that surrounds gravel and mtb. To be a part of this growing culture is amazing. Love to bring my personality and good vibes to all the events!”
● Russell Finsterwald, 30, Colorado Springs, Colo., “I feel the 6 events encompass what cycling in the US is today and they are the events that are leading the resurgence of cycling in the US.”
● Howard Grotts, 28, Missoula, Mont., “I think that the Life Time Grand Prix has the potential to be a premier cycling series in the U.S. The mix of mountain bike and gravel racing is unique and doesn’t cater to a single riding style, which is also attractive as equipment becomes more and more versatile.”
● Lance Haidet, 23, San Luis Obispo, Calif., “I believe the series is truly a step forward in what it means to be a professional bike racer in America. I want to be involved in a series that brings out the passion for cycling within each athlete, and I believe the multidisciplinary nature of the Grand Prix can accomplish this.”
● Alex Howes, 33, Nederland, Colo., “American racing needs continuity and it needs a season-long narrative if it’s going to continue to grow. I want to be part of that narrative. I don’t know if I’ll be a hero or a villain but however the role evolves, I’ll play it with full heart.”
● Dylan Johnson, 26, Brevard, N.C., “I love gravel and MTB racing and I want to compete at the highest level in the US.”
● John Keller, 24, Boulder, Colo., “I want to demonstrate that gravel racing is something anyone and everyone can do regardless of gender, ethnicity, education or where one lives. Gravel racing is challenging no matter the level you race at, but at the end of the day it’s a long ride before a great party.”
● Ted King, 38, Richmond, Vt., “Inadvertently or otherwise, I’ve been on the forefront of gravel racing as it’s unfolded over the past six years. So to be part of the first national series that the world has ever seen is quite meaningful.”
● Andrew L’Esperance, 30, Halifax, N.S., “I want to be a part of the rising tide of North American bike racing, which is embodied by the events in the Life Time GP. This series is where the best cyclists from multiple disciplines will be congregating, and I want the chance to challenge myself alongside them.”
● Ashton Lambie, 30, Lincoln, Neb., “I’ve been racing gravel on and off for several years, and love the community and opportunity to inspire riders of all levels to take on new challenges.”
● Bradyn Lange, 22, Austin, Texas., “To be part of the pinnacle race series in America for 2022 is not only a huge opportunity for me, but also for all of American cycling. What Life Time is working to create is special, and stands so much bigger than any bike race could. Life Time focuses on inclusivity, and to unite people from all different lifestyles and skill sets…I want to support by being part of.”
● Taylor Lideen, 31, Phoenix, Ariz., “I truly feel that this series will help put American cycling on the radar for athletes all over the world. We have so much amazing talent in the US, and the terrain/places to ride in our beautiful country make it the best place to ride and race bikes all while our community remains inclusive, welcoming, humble and competitive.”
● Payson McElveen, 28, Durango, Colo., “…this series feels like the culmination of striking out on my own, non-conventional path about 6 years ago. This consolidation of events, that for years I have already been passionate about, is a dream come true. I think this is just the beginning, and I want to continue to play a key role in the development of that history.”
● Lachlan Morton, 29, Girona, E.S., “… I think it’s going to change cycling in the USA for the better.”
● Logan Owen, 26, Bremerton, Wash., “I’d like to be part of the Life Time Grand Prix in order to contribute to the next phase of competitive bicycle racing in America. The age of gravel is here and the events in the LTGP offer the chance for racers to contribute to the overall growth and success of our sport, and help make doing so a profession.”
● Cole Paton, 24, Durango, Colo., “Life Time is changing the landscape of being a professional athlete in the United States. It’s activating America’s talented Off-Road racers and creating a community around their events to support growth in the sport.”
● Kiel Reijnen, 35, Bainbridge Island, Wash. “Gravel racing has yet to be defined, or perhaps more accurately, to be confined, by strict structure, governing bodies, traditions and unwritten rules. The Life Time Grand Prix is the first of its kind. It is helping create a new vision within the world of cycling…”
● Adam Roberge, 24, Prévost, Québec, “To win it and make sure it gets as much attention as possible because this type of event will in my opinion save cycling in America.”
● Peter Stetina, 34, Santa Rosa, Calif., “…to grow offroad racing in the USA, to help promote the series and the effort behind it, to fight for truly professional worthy prize money, and to be a part of this inaugural effort.”
● Colin Strickland, 35, Austin, Texas, “The GP sounds like an amazing showcase of the all-around talent of off-road specialist bike racers.”
● Keegan Swenson, 27, Heber City, Utah., “I think it is a great opportunity for us professional athletes to showcase what we can do on one of the biggest stages we have ever had in the USA.”
● Laurens Ten Dam, 41, Oudorp, Netherlands, “The racer inside me is still alive and there is a lot of excitement when I think of testing my body once more. I am up for a challenge once again!”
● Alexey Vermeulen, 26, Pinckney, Mich., “I want to be part of the future of American Cycling. Riding bikes is cool and I want to help show that to thousands of people next year.”
● Alex Wild, 29, San Jose, Calif., “I believe it will be the premier cycling series in 2022 and with the growth of gravel cycling I’d love to be a part of it.”
The 2022 Life Time Grand Prix Series Race Lineup:
● April 9: Fuego 100K XC mountain bike race at the Life Time Sea Otter Classic presented by Continental Tire in Monterey, Calif.
● June 4: 200-mile Garmin UNBOUND Gravel presented by Craft Sportswear in Emporia, Kan.
● July 9: 70-mile Crusher in the Tushar presented by The Creamery in Beaver, Utah
● August 13: Stages Cycling Leadville Trail 100 MTB in Leadville, Colo.
● September 17: 40-mile Chequamegon MTB Festival presented by Trek in Cable, Wis.
● October 22: 100-mile Life Time Big Sugar Gravel in Bentonville, Ark.
“We were overwhelmed with the responses from over 200 applicants for the inaugural Life Time Grand Prix,” said Kimo Seymour, President of Events and Media at Life Time. “The selection process was incredibly challenging, and ultimately we decided to increase from 40 to 60 total riders. We want to send our sincere thanks to all the athletes who applied and congratulate those that have been selected. Our intent was not only to establish a competitive field, but also a group of athletes that will be great advocates for the growth of professional cycling in North America.”
To learn more about the Life Time Grand Prix, please visit: https://www.lifetimegrandprix.com/info/. Follow along throughout the 2022 season on Instagram: @lifetimegrandprix.
The Life Time Grand Prix series is owned and produced by Life Time, the premier healthy lifestyle brand. It is among more than 30 premier athletic events owned by the company including the Verizon New York City Triathlon, Chicago Triathlon and Life Time Miami Marathon. To view and learn more about Life Time athletic events, visit: lifetime.life/athletic-events.